New Government food rules are ‘madness’ and will cost millions, warns supermarket boss

Shoppers in a supermarket in Winsford, Cheshire (PA) (PA Wire)
Shoppers in a supermarket in Winsford, Cheshire (PA) (PA Wire)

New Government rules on where supermarkets can place unhealthy foods are "complete madness" that will cost businesses millions and drive up prices for customers, a leading supermarket boss warned on Friday.

As part of Government plans to tackle obesity, food and drinks that are high in fat, salt or sugar must be moved away from checkouts in supermarkets this week.

They can also not be placed at the ends of aisles or supermarket entrances, according to the new legislation.

Wider rules that include banning multi-buy and BOGOF offers for unhealthy foods are set to be rolled out next year.

Iceland boss Richard Walker said the legislation will be costly and will not help drive down obesity levels.

"It will cost us millions," he told BBC Radio 4.

"I mean, it's complete madness. And actually, it will do absolutely nothing to curb obesity.

"Obesity is an issue and of course we should tackle it but there's very little evidence to say that doing this will help.

"Customers will find what they want. It will just be a bit more confusing. And when the multibuy legislation comes in next year, it'll lead to less choice and higher costs."