HFSS Rules: Your Questions Answered

ACS has published a new comprehensive set of frequently asked questions on the details of the upcoming HFSS (high, fat, salt, sugar) regulations, covering everything from queueing areas and island units, to the status of the regulations in other UK nations. 

The FAQs, published today alongside the latest version of ACS’ HFSS guide, provides answers on a range of areas of the regulations including both the location restrictions and the promotional restrictions. All of the answers provided as part of the FAQs document are backed by Surrey and Bucks Trading Standards through the ACS Assured Advice scheme, meaning that wherever you trade in the country your in-store procedures must be respected by local enforcement officers. 

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “We urge retailers who are preparing for the introduction of HFSS rules in their stores to familiarise themselves with the FAQs we’ve published in addition to our core guidance on the regulations, and would encourage anyone with further questions to get in touch with us so we can provide an Assured answer in partnership with Surrey and Bucks Trading Standards. One of the remaining unknown factors on the HFSS regulations is how different the local approaches to enforcement are going to be, so having the backing of Assured Advice provides important peace of mind.”

Last week, the Government confirmed that they would be changing the timetable for the introduction of the HFSS rules in response to consumers facing pressure on the cost of living. The new implementation dates are as follows: 

  • October 2022: Introduction of the location restrictions for HFSS products
  • October 2023: Ban on volume based promotions for HFSS products
  • January 2024: Additional TV/online advertising restrictions for HFSS products

ACS continues to make the case to Government that the introduction of location restrictions, which are set to cost around £13,000 for an average convenience store, will result in retailers having to pass on costs to customers in October at a time when other costs, such as the energy price cap, are likely to dramatically increase. ACS comments were featured in the Times and on BBC Radio 2 today (May 20th). 

Examples of FAQs published today include: 

Question: Can store owners put images of HFSS products in restricted locations such as check outs, queuing areas and store entrances?

Answer: Yes, the regulations do not cover images of products in store.

Question: What is the definition of an aisle and an island unit, according to the regulations? How do they differ?

Answer: An Island unit is distinguished by not having a prominent end where food could be displayed (typically it would be square or circular in shape) and not marking a main customer route through the store.

The full list of FAQs, and the updated Assured Advice guide are available on the ACS website here

This entry was posted by Chris on Fri, 20/05/2022 - 15:39