Scottish Diet & Healthy Weight Delivery Plan: Proposals Should Consider Impact on Small Shops

ACS has responded to the publication of the Scottish Government’s Diet & Healthy Weight Delivery Plan, ‘A Healthier Future’, calling on the Scottish Government to consider the impact of their proposals on small shops.

The new plan aims to halve the rates of childhood obesity by 2030 by including actions to ensure that the food environment supports healthier choices.

Measures announced for consultation later this year in the Diet and Healthy Weight Delivery Plan include:

  • Restricting promotion of targeted foods that are high in fat, salt, or sugar (including multi-buys, upselling, use of coupons and promotion of value)
  • Restricting the location where targeted foods that are high in fat, salt or sugar can be sold in within a store environment
  • Restricting the sale of energy drinks to under 16s

The Scottish Government has also requested that the Advertising Standards Authority strengths the implementation of its CAP code by removing advertising of HFSS foods within a radius of 800 metres of any site with 25% or more footfall by under 16 year olds, including schools.

Pete Cheema OBE, SGF chief executive said: “The SGF and its members are committed to supporting the Scottish Government’s ambition to encourage consumers to make healthier choices. The SGF has already been proactive with this through the SGF’s Healthy Living Programme (HLP) – a Scottish Government initiative – which aims to increase the range, quality and affordability of fresh produce and other healthier products from across categories in convenience retail stores across Scotland. One of the main objectives of HLP is to work towards the goals set by the Scottish Government to improve the health of the Scottish Nation and reduce obesity. As such there is much which the convenience sector in Scotland is already doing to ensure a healthier Scotland. Over 2,000 stores are now participating in the programme and participating stores do increase their sales of fresh fruit and vegetables.

“Given the condition of the high street and the number of shop closures, if the Scottish Government were to consider introducing additional measures to that of the rest of the UK, this would place extra costs on to Scottish retailers and in particular convenience retailers who operate in a hyper competitive retail grocery market.”

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “We are keen to work with the Scottish Government on the delivery of their new Diet & Healthy Weight plan. It is encouraging that the Scottish Government has acknowledged in their plan that any future policy must be evidence based, and this needs to be their approach especially given their proposals to restrict such a wide scope of promotions.”

“We believe that any new regulation must not disproportionately affect small shops and have concerns about any measure that would restrict where retailers are allowed to display products, as many of our members operate very small stores where layout changes would be difficult and costly. We will engage with the Scottish Government alongside the Scottish Grocers’ Federation and will be responding to their consultations on measures set out in the delivery plan later this year.”

The Delivery Plan also announced an upcoming consultation on a mandatory age restriction for the sale of energy drinks to under-16s. ACS research has shown that 64% of Scottish independent retailers already do not sell energy drinks to under 16s.

Mr Lowman continued: “Over half of convenience stores are currently not selling energy drinks to under-16s, and convenience stores are already at the front line of enforcing the law on other age restricted products. If the Scottish Government sees fit to introduce a regulatory age restriction on energy drinks, we will work closely with retailers to ensure that the policy is implemented across the sector appropriately.”

More information on the Diet and Healthy Weight Delivery Plan is available here:

This entry was posted by Chloe on Tue, 03/07/2018 - 10:37