19 Jun 2023 Buy-one-get-one-free legislation delayed for the second time: Food Active response
Over the weekend, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak confirmed that legislation to restrict less healthy food and drink buy-one-get-one-free deals is set to be delayed a further 2 years, until October 2025.
The legislation, initially planned to be introduced in 2022, was delayed by a year last year due to concerns around the ongoing cost of living crisis and rising food inflation.
This latest delay comes as the Government said it will continue to review how the policy could impact on businesses and consumers.
This means that of the policies that were announced as part of the national obesity strategy in 2020, just two have actually been implemented; restrictions on the placement of less healthy food and drinks within medium and large stores (i.e. checkout, end of aisles) in October 2022. Plans for a 9pm watershed on TV and similar restrictions online on less healthy food and drink advertising were also delayed last year until October 2025.
Our Programme Lead, Nicola Calder, responds:
Evidence shows that these multibuy promotions actually increase the amount consumers spend by 20%. Scrapping this legislation puts more vulnerable families, affected by the current economic climate, at risk of dietary inequality. These deals are simply bad for our health and our pockets.
We are extremely disappointed to see yet another delay to important measures to limit the advertising and marketing of less healthy food and drink, rolling back on commitments within the national obesity strategy make the target of halving childhood obesity by 2030 completely out of reach.
We have also signed a letter We have added our name to this important letter, coordinated by the Children’s Food Campaign, urging retailers to press ahead with restrictions on multi-buy promotions on less healthy food & drink, despite the Gov’s u-turn last weekend.Read the letter here