Call to delay HFSS regulations

High fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) products
Representative iStock image

UK retailers need more time and clarity to prepare for the new government regulations that will limit the placement and promotion of high fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) products next year, says a recent survey.

As per the findings of a survey carried out by AI nutrition technology company Spoon Guru, a quarter of respondents working in the top 11 supermarkets feel that they are uninformed about what the HFSS legislation will entail. 

The findings reveal that two thirds (61 per cent) of respondents think the current delay to enforcing the new rules should be further increased by seven months or more. Over a third (35 per cent) were found to be concerned that they will end up falling foul of the new rules and less than a fifth (18 per cent) admitted that they don’t know where to begin with their preparations, said the survey’s findings.

HFSS regulations are now due to come into force in October 2022 after the original deadline of April was extended during the summer following pressure from retailers and manufacturers. In April, the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance expressed concerns over poorly defined guidelines, which could inadvertently impact sports nutrition products, some of which are meant to be high-calorie foods. 

The government has yet to announce more detail on which products will be classed as HFSS foods. 

Spoon Guru claims that its technology platform offers nutritionist-led categorisation of products to support retailers in meeting the new guidelines.

“We understand why the government has delayed the enforcement of this legislation,” said Johanna Bolinder, Head of Health and Sustainability at Spoon Guru, adding that the HFSS changes “undoubtedly carry several bureaucratic hallmarks” which many people are struggling to understand and implement.