March 02, 2022 Industry news
Launched by the government to tackle the obesity crisis and promote healthier choices among consumers, it will place significant restrictions on the promotion of HFSS products affecting brands and retailers alike.
In the first of our HFSS webinar series, GS1 UK head of sales, Dan Sands, explained:
- Why the new legislation is required
- What HFSS is and which categories are in scope
- How the legislation will impact business
- How the industry has come together to develop a unified solution for capturing HFSS specific attributes ahead of the October 2022 deadline
Dan also took questions from the audience on a wide range of HFSS related issues, particularly HFSS calculation, product categorisation and how GS1 UK’s productDNA solution can help.
The overall score already indicates whether TV advertising can air during children’s viewing times and, from October 2022, will determine promotion both instore and online.
More information on the model and how to calculate your score can be found at the link below:
This will apply to main estate, convenience (with certain exemptions applying based on square footage), and online as well as symbol groups and non-food retailers such as clothes shops and newsagents. Online marketplaces will be prohibited from promoting HFSS goods via pop-ups, apps, home, and checkout pages as well through volume offers.
More information on the legislation and the categories covered can be accessed at the following link:
Throughout this process, the standardised collection of accurate, easily accessible, trusted data has proven paramount. Manufacturers are now conducting NPS range analysis while also re-evaluating their pricing and promotional strategies.
The restrictions are so disruptive that many manufacturers are having to plan for reformulation and new product development. The new data resulting from these changes are essential for ensuring compliance, identifying exemptions, and determining where products can be sold.
All retailers need access to this data to examine product ranges and analyse the percentage of HFSS goods. Many are already testing new store layouts, creative approaches to merchandising and are inviting primary authorities to visit stores to provide assured advice. None of these protective measures would be possible without the trusted data that powers them.
While retailers, rather than manufacturers are liable, they are entirely reliant on manufacturers for accurate data and calculations. Retailers are already requesting HFSS attributes, and we are doing everything we can to support. If you are a manufacturer who has not received a request yet, it is almost certain you will get one soon.
Retailers may take a different approach which is why GS1 UK is driving a standardised productDNA solution. Sign up to productDNA HFSS today to make sure your business is HFSS ready.
The profile model is complex but detailed, leaving little room for interpretation. There are two main things retailers need to know:
- Does the product fall within one of the thirteen categories?
- What is the score provided by the manufacturer?
Although most retailers are also asking for the raw data behind nutrient profile scores (“A” values and “C” values) so they can validate the calculations or show due diligence if checked by authorities.
At present, the planned legislation will not affect business-to-business advertising.
Yes, there is a fixed monetary penalty, but the government is currently advising local authorities to focus on encouragement rather than the collection of fines. Enforcement will be managed by Trading Standards, who will issue an improvement notice and work with retailers to ensure compliance before fining.
Nutrient profile scores should usually be calculated for a product as sold. In cases where a product needs to be reconstituted before it is eaten (i.e., custard powder), the NPS should be calculated based on 100g of the product as reconstituted according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Sainsbury’s, Ocado, Morrisons and Asda also require information through productDNA. We are still engaging with industry and will continue to do so over the coming months. Everyone needs this information, so we are committed to making it as widely accessible as possible. If a supplier is required to upload data only once through productDNA, there is a greater degree of efficiency and accuracy to be gained.
Prepacked food and drink in the following categories will be in scope of the restrictions: soft drinks, cakes, chocolate confectionery, sugar confectionery, ice cream, morning goods (for example pastries), puddings, sweet biscuits, breakfast cereals, yoghurts, milk-based drinks with added sugar, juice based drinks with added sugar, pizza, ready meals, meal centres, including breaded and battered products, crisps and savoury snacks, chips and similar potato products.
There are still nuances in the thirteen categories covered. Your first step in getting HFSS compliant should always be gain an understanding these categories and how nutrient profiling works.
See our HFSS resources to learn more and contact your primary authority for assured advice if still unsure.
See the Department of Health’s Nutrient Profiling Technical Guidance. Our productDNA platform also provides guidance on the attributes required in making your calculations.
See the Government’s consultation outcome, “Restricting promotions of products high in fat, sugar and salt by location and by price: government response to public consultation”, for more information of categorisation and a draft of the full regulation.
If still unsure, consult your primary authority.
Regardless of which category you think your product falls under, the safest approach is to calculate the NPS of any food or drink in your range. Many retailers are requesting scores for all products due to grey areas on categorisation. Different retailers will take different approaches with some more cautious than others. We are actively collaborating across industry to bring greater clarity to categorisation but everyone is still juggling this legislation so approaches will have to adapt over time.
Sign up for productDNA HFSS
Built on the foundation of GS1 industry standards for consistency across all retail channels, our free solution allows suppliers to easily manage and share their HFSS product data to multiple retailers in one action.
How industry is solving the HFSS dilemma
Join our HFSS expert, Dan Sands, for the second instalment of our HFSS webinar series. Learn how it will impact your business, why retailers have collaborated to develop an industry wide solution, and how to ensure compliance ahead of the October deadline