Shops in England banned from displaying junk food near entrances and tills from today | UK news | Catch My Job


Restrictions on where shops in England can display junk food come into effect today.

Products high in fat, salt and sugar can no longer be placed in prominent places such as shop entrances and tills.

But a proposed ban on multi-buy deals for junk food – such as “buy one, get one free” offers – is being delayed until October 2023.

Prime Minister Liz Truss was said to be concerned that those measures would increase the pressure on consumers already struggling with surging costs.

James Lowman, chief executive of the Convenience Stores Association, said: “Local shops have sunk huge sums of money into renovating their stores to comply with these regulations when their businesses are already under pressure from rising energy bills and higher product costs.

“Retailers have been hampered by the government’s hasty approach to policy development and uncertainty over implementation dates.”

The Food and Drink Federation said the delay to the ban on multi-buy deals was welcome news, including for shoppers under pressure as inflation remained higher.

Chief Executive Karen Betts said: “Our industry looks forward to continuing to work with the government to help tackle obesity and poor diet.

“Food and drink businesses know that we play a vital role in this, and we have worked hard over a number of years to redevelop our product recipes to make them healthier while retaining their delicious flavours. This has include work to help people choose appropriate portion sizes.”

But Barbara Crowther of the Children’s Food Campaign said she was “disappointed” by the delay – and argued that bulk deals actually lead to people spending 22% more on impulse buys of less healthy food and drink.

“We hope that companies will now use this extra time responsibly to focus their price offers on healthier foods, which is the best way to support families to access healthy food in this cost of living crisis,” he added .

However, Ms Crowther expressed hope that today’s new rules will “shift the promotional spotlight to healthier products”.

Mark Jones is a food and drink supply chain specialist at law firm Gordons. It highlights figures which suggest 28% of adults in England are obese and a further 36% overweight – with childhood obesity rates reaching record highs during the pandemic.

“Around 28% of children are now overweight and 41% of 10 to 11 year olds are overweight, which does not bode well for the future,” he warned.

“Obesity currently costs the taxpayer more than the police, fire service and judicial system combined.”

He added that “something needs to be done to tackle rising obesity rates”.


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