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Food: Sales Promotions

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 72586, tabled on 9 November 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Food (Promotion and Placement) (England) Regulations 2021, what constitutes a meal deal; and if he will make a statement.

Answered on

19 November 2021

In December 2020, we confirmed that we will legislate to restrict the promotion by location and volume price of foods high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) in stores and online. Restrictions will apply to medium and large businesses with 50 or more employees in England. The regulations were laid on 21 July 2021 with an implementation date of October 2022. Having considered the industry’s feedback, we have extended the implementation date to allow businesses enough time to prepare for these novel restrictions.

For on pack promotions, the purpose of the transition period is to permit existing stock produced before October 2022 to be sold by relevant businesses until October 2023. However, whilst the on pack promotion is permitted to enable products to be sold between October 2022 and October 2023, the volume price promotion offer themselves must be void. After October 2023, products with on pack volume price promotions should not be sold in qualifying businesses.

The regulations explain that specified food must not be offered for sale as part of a volume price promotion, including a promotion in which non specified food items are also included. Offers that are not volume price promotions do not fall in scope of the restrictions.

‘Meal deals’ will not be in scope of the volume price promotion restrictions. However, HFSS products under a category which is in scope would be subject to the location restrictions, regardless of whether it is part of a meal deal. The intention for the ‘relevant special offer’ definition in the regulations is to reflect deals where a ‘main’ included in the deal. In the spirit of the regulations, only relevant special offers that are intended for consumption as a ‘typical’ meal with a main should be out of scope of the volume price promotions restrictions.