4th October 2023
Ofcom has published a statement detailing how the new statutory restrictions on advertising and sponsorship for certain food and drink products that are high in fat, salt, or sugar (HFSS), and which are classed as ‘less healthy’ using Government’s nutrient profiling, will be implemented.
The Health and Care Act, which received Royal Assent on 28 April 2022, amended the Communications Act 2003 to introduce new restrictions on advertising and sponsorship for certain food and drink products that are high in fat, salt, or sugar (HFSS). HFSS products are otherwise known as ‘less healthy food and drink products’ according to the nutrient profiling technical guidance published in 2011. The new restrictions apply to advertising on Ofcom-regulated TV, on-demand programme services (ODPS) and online.
These restrictions take effect from 1 October 2025.
Between 21 February and 21 April 2023, the Office of Communications (Ofcom), which is the UK communications regulator, consulted on proposals for implementing the new statutory restrictions. Following the conclusion of the consultation, Ofcom has published a statement detailing the following outcomes:
Government has also completed a consultation on draft regulations to define key aspects of the restrictions, including “less healthy food” and “food or drink SMEs” (businesses with fewer than 250 employees who are exempt from the restrictions). We will update you when we know the conclusions that Government has reached. In the meantime, if you need any help understanding the legislation surrounding HFSS products and how they apply to your business, just give Richard Naish or any of the other members of the Food and Drink team a call.