The Food (Promotion and Placement) Regulations will ban multi-buy promotions of products high in fat, salt or sugar (HFSS), in product categories that are considered to contribute significantly to children's calorie intake. These include chocolate, crisps, sweets and soft drinks.
The research found that Sainsbury’s is the only supermarket well prepared for the new restriction, having already ceased multi-buy promotions of all HFSS products. By contrast, the other major supermarkets still rely heavily on promotions that will be banned under the new measures. Asda and Morrisons each ran over 300 of these promotions per week, on average. At Tesco the number was more moderate with 120 such promotions per week on average.
However, the research found that Sainsbury’s has not stopped promoting unhealthy products, but rather shifted its strategy away from multi-buy promotions towards meal deals and other price promotions, which will not be addressed by the new regulation. In the research period, Sainsbury’s ran over 1100 such promotions for HFSS products per week – far more than its rivals - including over 800 promotions in categories particularly relevant to children.