A recently published paper from CDRC researcher Vicki Jenneson discusses new plans to restrict in‐store price and location‐based promotions of less healthy foods and drinks in the UK aimed to encourage healthier choices. With responsibility for implementation likely falling to food retailers, it is important to understand the feasibility of implementation and to ensure policy success. To ensure compliance, retailers will need to assess which products are restricted under the legislation. The large number of products in retailers’ portfolios poses a problem of scale.
A recent research case study found the data available to retailers to be insufficient to accurately apply the rules‐based approach set out by the policy proposal. Misclassification would result in some less healthy products being incorrectly promoted and vice versa. Problems with implementation feasibility have the potential to undermine the public health goals of the legislation. Interviews were carried out with nutrition representatives from the UK food retail and manufacturing sector, to understand the real‐world implications of the proposed legislation.
Industry nutritionists recommended a review of the use of the UK’s Nutrient Profiling Model as the legislative basis, proposed data‐related solutions to implementation problems and suggested a need for shared retailer‐manufacturer responsibility, given the context of data availability.