How brands are preparing in advance of the new HFSS legislation

How brands are preparing in advance of the new HFSS legislation

After the announcement of the HFSS (High fat, sugar, salt) legislation back in 2020, its finally set to be put in place from October this year. During the last year or so, there have been many conversations around the detrimental impact the legislation could have on brands that trade in HFSS products, and how many of these brands are unprepared to deal with or overcome the barriers they are set to face, with IRI predicting a potential loss of £1.1bn per year.

However, we are starting to see more and more examples of action being taken by brands around reformulation of existing HFSS products, as well as NPD (new product development) launches or planned launches, in order to meet the newly required standards.

Certain categories must adapt

Many of the brands taking on these actions are those with categories and products generally associated with healthy eating such as cereal bars, rice cake, and plant-based snacks, where there is a clear benefit to meet the HFSS standards for the type of consumer they are aimed at.

However, we’re also seeing action from more unexpected categories commonly associated with indulgence, such as, previously mentioned in an earlier article, the launch of the HFSS compliant doughnut from Urban Legend. Over-the-spoon are also launching a HFSS compliant Salted Caramel Cheesecake to join other dessert products in their ‘dairy free’d’ range.

Some of the biggest brands also seen to be taking a pro-active stance in the lead up to the legislation by launching HFSS compliant products include KP snacks, Weetabix, Mini Cheddars, McVites, and Kellogg’s, with more big names likely to follow suit.

What does this mean for brands?

Now is a pivotal time in the world of comestibles, and actions brands take now may well determine their entire future standing within their respective categories.

The changes we have already seen are likely just the beginning of the full-scale snacking revolution we’re likely to witness in the forthcoming months.

How can we help?

Market research is more important now than ever before as brands look to navigate the unfamiliar waters of revitalised consumer outlooks, modified shopper journeys, and the transforming grocery landscape.

Spark Emotions’ Shopper Behaviour area of expertise combines consumer psychology with industry expertise to generate actionable insights that are proven to deliver business growth.

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Related articles:

If want to keep on top of the latest HFSS insights then read our article on the reactions to the upcoming HSSS legislation or our article on whether the UK-wide ban on junk food ads before 9pm on TV will work.



Written by Holly Adams, Research Manager at Spark Emotions.
If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to Holly via email or connect with her on LinkedIn