Food hygiene and safety

The Food (Promotion and Placement) (England) Regulations 2021

Restricting the promotion of products high in fat, salt and sugar

This came into force on 1 October 2022

The Food (Promotion and Placement) (England) Regulations 2021 restrict the promotion of prepacked food and drink that are high in fat, salt and sugar through:

  • location in store (by check outs and promotional ends) or equivalent locations online (home page, checkout)
  • volume promotion (such as buy one get one free) – certain meal deals and money off promotions are permitted

Do the regulations apply to your business?

Check if the following regulations apply:

  • is the food you sell pre-packed and/or do you offer free drinks refills?
  • does your business have 50 or more employees (on 1 April of the financial year)? Restrictions on location apply to retail stores over 185.8 square metres (or 2,000 sq. ft) in size
  • is the food one of the 13 categories of food and drink listed in the regulations?
  • referencing the Nutrient Profiling Model (NPM) is the food defined as ‘less healthy’ (score ≥1 drinks ≥ 4 food)? (e.g. porridge oats have a low score however golden syrup flavour instant oats would be ≥ 4 and ‘less healthy’)

The following restrictions on location (from 1 October 2022)

Specified foods cannot be placed in the following areas:

  • within 15m of store entrances (or the distance calculated used the formula √(0.03 x relevant floor area) whichever is smaller)
  • within 2m of the checkout facility
  • within 2m of designated queuing areas
  • aisle/gondola ends
  • a separate structure such as a free-standing fridge or freezer unit, bin or clip strip connected to, adjacent to or within 50cm of an aisle end
  • a covered external area (lobby)
  • equivalent locations online (home page and checkout)

Restrictions on volume promotion (from 1 October 2023)

The following restrictions on volume promotion:

  • multi-buy offers such as ‘3 for 2’ or ‘3 for £10
  • offers that indicate an item or part of an item is free e.g. ‘BOGOF’ or ‘50% extra free’
  • an equivalent incentive such as a disproportionately high number of loyalty points when an item or deal is purchased

Restrictions on drinks refills also come into force in 2023. These apply to free refills of sugar-sweetened beverages (not alcoholic drinks > 1.2% ABV, sweetened drinks with an NPM score under 1, plain water or drinks with no added sugar).

Categories of specific foods

The 13 categories of specified foods are:

  1. soft drinks with added sugar such as squash with sugar, milkshakes
  2. crisps and savoury
  3. breakfast cereals
  4. confectionery including chocolate and jelly sweets
  5. ice cream and frozen yoghurt
  6. cakes and cupcakes
  7. sweet biscuits
  8. morning goods (croissants, pastries, enriched bread)
  9. puddings and dairy desserts
  10. sweetened yoghurt and fromage frais
  11. pizza (except plain pizza bases)
  12. potato products such as chips, fries, waffles
  13. ready meals and breaded/battered products