Our response to Scottish Government consultation on proposed regulations on promotions of products high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) - May 2024

The Scottish Government are currently consulting on proposed regulations to restrict price and location promotions of food and drink products high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS)

The consultation seeks views on the detail of proposed regulations to restrict the promotions of HFSS foods where they are sold to the public, including across retail and out of home settings, both in-store and online. It is specifically seeking views on the detail of proposed regulations to restrict HFSS promotions including: targeted foods within the scope of restrictions; price promotions within the scope of restrictions, including meal deals and temporary price reductions; the approach to placement restrictions of targeted foods in store and online; the qualifying businesses within the scope of restrictions, including proposed exemptions; the proposed approach to enforcement and implementation.

In our response, we welcome the consultation process and comment on the proposed restrictions. In particular, we call for:

  • Meal deals and temporary price reductions (TPRs) to be included within scope of the regulations, as they are the most commonly used types of price promotion in Scotland 
  • For as many locations as possible, both within stores and online, to be within scope, to ensure the regulations are as effective as possible
  • For the regulations to apply to all relevant businesses in Scotland, regardless of employee numbers and floor space, recognising that smaller businesses may need more time and additional assistance to be comply with the regulations
  • Minimal exemptions from the regulations - exemptions undermine the overall effectiveness. We disagree with the proposed exemption based on floor space 

Regulating price and location promotions of HFSS products is essential in a cost of living crisis to deliver a healthy population and healthy workforce, and ensure healthier options are the easiest and most affordable options for everyone. Evidence tells us that promotions do not save people move, cause them to spend more than intended through impulse purchases, and are more readily available on unhealthy products. 

The consultation closes on 21st May 2024.