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HFSS Brand Compliance

Consumers are more concerned today about their health and wellbeing than ever before.

Our consumer research in Spring 2022 found that just under a third of adults in the United Kingdom are consciously making a lifestyle change to positively impact their health.

While the consumer landscape has shifted significantly over the last quarter, with the media lens being firmly on rising prices, we predict that trying to stay healthy will continue to be a key consideration for shoppers, the squeeze on household budgets might actually assist those looking to cut back on sweet and savoury snacks.  

What do shoppers want?

Less of somethings and more of others!  18-34-year-olds and those in the 55+ group both want to cut down on sugar consumption, with the younger cohort looking for protein and the older group fibre. Meanwhile for 35–54-year-olds, the priority is getting their five a day.

Benefits of HFSS compliancy ahead of legislation

Although the Government has delayed the implementation of the HFSS legislation, it hasn’t gone away and some retailers are still planning on implementing the rules this October. Therefore, it makes sense to ensure products are HFSS compliant sooner rather than later.  

One of the Government’s reasons for not implementing the legislation in October was the fact that fewer promotions would push up average price paid by consumers on these products.  However, ensuring your products are compliant would mean that consumers would not only have access to a healthier product, they could also continue to promote these across all retailers. Thus giving these brands/products a clear competitive edge against non-compliant competitors.  

Achieving listings for new products or securing promotional space can be difficult for challenger brands, so the more that can be done to demonstrate to the trade buyer that it is in their interest to list/support a brand the better.   Clearly, by highlighting that the brand meets the consumer demand for healthier products and by being HFSS compliant can be launched with a strong promotional plan.  

Buyers will not automatically give brands space just because they are HFSS compliant but it can be a lever if the product proposition is robust. Manufacturers need to demonstrate that their product will grow the category overall, and provide the buyer with the evidence to support that claim.

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