Tesco and Sainsbury’s have committed to the original Government deadlines to change how unhealthy foods are promoted in their stores, despite legislation being pushed back by a year.
Tesco said it will remove multi-buy promotions food which are high in fat, sugar or salt (HFSS products) by the end of October.
Changes to these promotions, such as buy-one-get-one-free, were due to go ahead this year but are now expected to be pushed back to October 2023.
A ban on TV adverts for HFSS food and drink before a 9pm watershed has also been put on hold for 12 months.
Sainsbury follow Tesco in saying they will unilaterally implement obesity restrictions. Also calling on government to reverse u-turn. Fascinating that the retailers are now calling for more regulation.
— Henry Dimbleby (@HenryDimbleby) May 20, 2022
Tesco chief customers officer Alessandra Bellini said: “At Tesco, we passionately believe that healthier food should be more accessible to everyone, no matter your budget – and today’s announcement is a key step towards that.
“With more than eight in 10n people reporting a rise in their cost of living, value is the number one factor that drives choice in our stores.
“We will always make sure our products are competitively priced, but we can’t stop there.
“Obesity levels are rising among adults and children and the health of our nation must also be at the top of our agenda.”
Meanwhile, Sainsbury’s said it has already axed multibuy offers after changing its promotion strategy six years ago.
It stressed that it will continue to push forward with curbs on unhealthy products despite changes to the Government’s original proposals.
We know our customers in communities across the country are a facing a cost-of-living crisis and want to continue to provide healthy, nutritious food for their families,” Mark Given, chief marketing officer at Sainsbury’s, said.
“Sainsbury’s is dedicated to making healthy choices more affordable and over the last year nearly 60% of our promotions were on healthier or ‘better for you’ choices.
“We are committed to continuing to follow the Government’s original HFSS promotional timelines and call on the rest of the industry to do the same.”