Recent studies have shown that there is a serious lack of preparation for the new restrictions coming into place in October this year.

New research from GS1 UK, have revealed these shocking figures:

  • Only 1 in 3 people had assessed their products ahead of the deadline to see if they would be subject to the ban.
  • Less than 50% are looking into reformulating their existing products.
  • 70% said they were not aware that the ban also restricts volume promotions.
  • 20% were completely unaware of the upcoming ban.

The Good Food Group have looked into why that is and with a hope of explaining the restrictions for our readers.

What does HFSS mean?

HFSS is a shortened term for food and beverage products which are high in saturated fat, salt and sugar.

What are the nutrient regulations and how do I know if my products comply?


The regulations are based around the Department of Health’s nutrient profiling model, where points are allocated on the basis of 100g of a food or drink.

Products receive a total number of points based on how many ‘unhealthy’ nutrients they have in them (E.g. energy, saturated fat, total sugar and sodium).

They also receive a total number of points based on how many ‘Healthy’ nutrients they have in them (fruit, vegetables, nut content, fibre and protein).

The number of ‘healthy’ points is then subtracted from the number of ‘unhealthy’ points, to give a final score:

‘Unhealthy’ nutrient points – ‘healthy’ nutrient points = final HFSS score

Foods with a final HFSS score of 4 or more, and drinks with a final HFSS score of 1 or more are classed as HFSS – meaning they will be subject to restrictions.

What are the HFSS promotion restrictions?

The promotion restrictions coming into place are split into three sections:

  • Location of products in store.
  • Volume promotions.
  • Advertising.

Firstly, the HFSS regulations coming into place will restrict the location of HFSS products in store, meaning that they will not be permitted to be displayed on: store entrances, aisle ends, checkouts and their online equivalents.

Secondly, volume promotions will be put into place, which refers to common offers such as: Buy One Get One Free, and 3 for 2 promotions on HFSS products.

Finally, the new HFSS restrictions will also affect how these products are advertised with high fat, sugar and salt products not being able to be advertised on TV and on-demand services before 9pm. As well as, a restriction of paid-for online advertising for HFSS products.

What categories of food and drink will be affected?

Categories of products that will be included are:

  1. Soft drinks with added sugar
  2. Juice drinks with added sugar
  3. Milk drinks with added sugar
  4. Crisps and savoury snacks
  5. Breakfast cereal
  6. Chocolate confectionary
  7. Sugar confectionary
  8. Ice cream
  9. Cakes
  10. Sweet biscuits
  11. Morning goods
  12. Pudding and dairy desserts
  13. Yoghurts
  14. Pizza
  15. Chips and potato products
  16. Family meal centres
  17. Ready meals
  18. Breaded and battered products
  19. Main meals (out-of-home)
  20. Starters, sides and small plates (out of home)
  21. Children’s meal bundles (out of home)
  22. Sandwiches (out of home)

Why are these restrictions coming into force?

The government’s hope is that through restricting the promotion of these ‘unhealthy’ foods which are high in fat, sugar and salt, will mean that consumers will favour healthier options to improve their diets and reduce children’s sugar intake.

“Regular overconsumption of food and drink high in calories, sugar and fat can lead to weight gain and, over time, obesity, which in turn has a significant impact on health and wellbeing and increases the risk of obesity related diseases.”

“Obesity is one of the biggest health problems this country faces. Two-thirds of adults are above a healthy weight, and over a fifth of children in England are overweight or living with obesity by the time they start primary school aged 5, and this rises to one third by the time they leave aged 11.”

What brands are already making HFSS changes?

Some global brands are already starting to make changes and release new NPD to combat the HFSS restrictions coming into place later this year, some examples of brands doing this are:


Walker’s New ‘45% Less Salt’ Crisps Range, which has three flavours ‘Lightly Salted’, ‘Mild Cheese & Onion’ and ‘A Dash Of Salt & Vinegar’.


Kettle have also released their new ‘Bread Bites’ which are triple baked and HFSS compliant, launching with three variants: Sourdough Bites, Naan Bites, Focaccia Bites, in three flavours ‘Parmigiano Reggiano & Balsamic Vinegar of Modena’, ‘Spiced Onion Bhaji with Chilli & Toasted Onion’ and ‘Sea Salt, Rosemary & Extra Virgin Olive Oil’.


Shreddie’s ‘The Simple One’ cereal is also HFSS compliant as well as being high in fibre and a green sweep of traffic lights. The cereal contains just 4 ingredients: wholegrain wheat, fruit purée, date syrup and “a pinch” of salt.

Now you know all the details and restrictions coming into place, does your brand need to start looking at ways to make your products HFSS compliant?

Contact our team today on