Restrictions on multibuy deals, banning free refills and advertising foods high in fat, salt or sugar (HFSS) are to be delayed in light of unprecedented global economic situation and in order to give industry more time to prepare for the restrictions.

Rules banning multibuy deals on foods and drinks high in fat, salt, or sugar (HFSS) – including buy one get one free (BOGOF), ‘3 for 2’, and restrictions on free refills for soft drinks – will be delayed for a year.

Restrictions on the placement of less healthy products – a key part of the government’s commitment to reduce obesity – will still come into force in October 2022 as planned.


What are HFSS Foods?

HFSS, it is an abbreviation of High in Fat, Salt and Sugar. The Department of Health’s Nutrient Profiling model (NPM) is used to classify food and beverage products that are HFSS and products in scope include:

  • Soft drinks with added sugar
  • Crisps and savoury snacks, excl. some nuts
  • Breakfast cereal
  • Chocolate confectionary
  • Ice cream
  • Cakes and biscuits
  • Morning goods
  • Puddings, dairy desserts, yoghurts
  • Pizza, chips and potato products
  • Ready meals
  • Breaded and battered products including meat or fish substitutes
  • Main meals, starters, sides and small plates + kids meal bundles out-of-home
  • Out-of-home sandwiches


Businesses in Scope

Businesses in scope include those with greater than or equal to 50 employees (including online retailers and retailers who do not primarily sell food or drink) and stores that are a member of a symbol group or franchise, where there are 50 or more employees operating under that business name


How does this affect catering businesses?

The out of home sector does not need to comply with location and volume price regulations, but must comply with the restrictions on the free refills promotion of certain drinks.


Free refills

Restrictions apply to free refills of sugar-sweetened beverages, defined as HFSS or ‘less healthy’ by the NPM, in any qualifying business, including the restaurant and out of home sector.

Drinks in scope of the restrictions on free refills are:

  • non-prepacked or open cup soft drinks that are in scope of the SDIL with an NPM score of ≥1
  • all other drinks under category 1 of schedule 1 with an NPM score of up ≥1, including tea or coffee that is pre-sweetened before sale


Further information can be found here and Food Alert will produce further information when the regulations come into force.




Food Safety