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Volume Price Promotion Restrictions

Volume 734: debated on Tuesday 20 June 2023

The Government are announcing their intent to delay the implementation of restrictions on volume price promotions, such as “buy one get one free” or “3 for 2” offers, on less healthy products by 24 months. These restrictions will now come into force on 1 October 2025.

Given the current challenges caused by higher food prices, the Government do not want to take actions that may restrict consumer choice.

Therefore, we are delaying the restrictions until October 2025 in light of the unprecedented global economic situation.

The intention of the promotion restrictions is to shift the balance of promotions towards healthier options, encouraging people to make healthier choices. We will continue to work closely with food businesses to reformulate products to be healthier. We have already seen success in some categories of the sugar reduction programme including a 14.9% reduction in average sugar levels in retailer and manufacturer branded breakfast cereals and a 13.5% reduction in yogurts and fromage frais.

The delay to volume price promotions does not impact the location restrictions which are currently in force. Under these restrictions, less healthy products in scope can no longer be promoted in key locations, such as checkouts, store entrances, aisle ends and their online equivalents. The location restrictions are the single most impactful obesity policy at reducing children’s calorie consumption and are expected to accrue health benefits of over £57 billion and provide NHS savings of over £4 billion, over the next 25 years.

We intend to consult in the coming weeks on the secondary legislation to implement the delay to the volume price restrictions.

The Government remain committed to halving childhood obesity by 2030 and delivering on these measures.