Department of Health ramps up pressure on supermarkets over 'guilt lanes'

Shopping: DoH ramps up pressure on supermarkets over 'guilt lanes'
Shopping: DoH ramps up pressure on supermarkets over 'guilt lanes'

The Department of Health (DH) is ramping up its pressure on supermarkets and grocery brands to support a swathe of new proposals as part of its Responsibility Deal consumer health programme.

DH is offering retailers and suppliers a "short window of time" to volunteer to a renewed clampdown on the promotion of foods high in sugar, salt and fat, in the lead up to a new strategic push to fight childhood obesity expected in the Spring, according to reports.

The government is making a strong push for the deposing of "guilt lanes" filled with sweets and fizzy drinks at supermarket checkouts, combined with the creation of a voluntary code to limit the marketing of High Fat Salt and Sugar (HFSS) foods.

It follows strong sentiment from public health minister Jane Ellison’s comments in the House of Commons last October, who termed the issue of confectionery brands’ strategic positioning at the checkout "an area for action".

Ellison said at the time: "We have identified food promotion as an area for action under the Responsibility Deal, and will be discussing with the food industry actions it might take to reduce exposure to marketing and promotion of less healthy food."

Dr Susan Jebb, the chair of the Responsibility Deal food network, was central to pre-Christmas talks between the health secretary and the UK’s major supermarkets on the issue of childhood obesity.

She said that pressure has been building on the government to regulate the sector if companies failed to respond to the calls, claiming that retailers and suppliers have been "challenged" to come up with solutions from a "long and wide ranging list of ideas."

"We’re giving the industry a short window of time to come back with a response," she added.

It is also understood that the government wants a commitment from companies to guarantee a minimum level of price and loyalty promotions for healthier options, as well as the banning of cartoon characters on packaging of HFSS brands and restrictions on online promotions. 


Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now


Ex-Thomas Cook marketer Mike Hoban resurfaces at Morrisons
Barbour creates real-time illustrations of consumers' stories for summer campaign
Viral review: Samsung goes for Apple’s jugular but fails to connect
View from Brazil: why we didn't believe we could lose the World Cup
Heineken unveils ‘Open Your City’ drive with Metro for ‘men of the world’
Unilever continues portfolio 'reshaping' with Slim-Fast sale
Amazon to fight US authorities over in-app purchase claims
Google set to invest $100m in Europe's tech start-ups
Metcalfe's set to release quirky debut TV ad
Samsung pities the iPhone 'wall huggers'
Smirnoff campaign aims to make Formula One less elitist
Apple wins EU battle to register store layout as trademark
Marketing directors need to step outside 'marketing box' to earn seat on the board
Hottest virals: Burger King’s emotional gay pride Whopper ad, plus Apple and Guinness
Developer creates software enabling Google Glass mind-control
Kick-ass girl beats up shopping centre staff in music video
Top 10 ads of the week: Aldi's World Cup cider ad scores with consumers
Sony relives Germany's 7-1 victory against Brazil in Subbuteo Vine
Burberry credits 9% revenue hike on strong online sales and 'more targeted marketing'
Ritz returns to UK TV screens after 30-year hiatus
Mars creates chief health and wellbeing officer role
Brands make the most of Germany's dramatic victory over Brazil
Adios Justin King! Watch our video tribute as he leaves Sainsbury's after a decade
Nike calls time on 13-year Manchester United kit deal
Three TV ad banned over misleading 'free' call claims
GNM boss David Pemsel: 'The Guardian has got its mojo back'
M&S has missed a massive opportunity to put digital strategy at its heart
Google partners with the Barbican to show coders are artists
Samaritans encourages men to talk about issues with #DownNotOut campaign
Lego's partnership with Shell 'not awesome', according to Greenpeace viral