P7 Westlands P7 Eden
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Write to your MP before 22nd February!

Please see the email below from the ACS ref the Government’s Obesity Strategy proposal on proposed restrictions on High Fat Salt and Sugar products (HFSS).  In summary this will affect all “symbol” stores over 2k sq ft, banning all multi buy promotions,  and restricting the location in stores where these products can be sold from. Whilst this legislations impacts England only at this stage, the knock-on effect could impact all wholesalers across the UK and not simply symbol stores.
The full details of the policy are available in the consultation document here.
Whilst we all have a role to play to help address the obesity issue, attacking small stores in this way could have a significant effect on our sales without addressing the core problem. The key issues I would bring to your attention are as follows:
  • They are classing each independent symbol store as a business with more than 50 employees, as they deem them to be one business as a whole – they believe we have control over these stores so we will be able to implement the merchandising and physical store changes and financially support the stores with the cost impact.
  • This will also result in a two-tier system where symbol over 2k sq ft can’t run multi buy deals or site these products near the front of store whilst the store next door can, seriously challenging the benefits of being in a symbol group for these important impulse categories especially soft drinks and confectionery.
  • The proposal intends to ban all multi buys, % free etc including on-pack promotions. One of the key differences with this proposal over the sugar tax or even MUP was that they all created an incentive to purchase a low sugar product or a lower strength product where this is simply discouraging any additional sale which could have a serious impact on sales. The likely result over time could be the market changing the pack formation to recover these sales, twin packs, larger bars, larger cans,  etc as we are seeing in crisps with a sharing bag being purchased as a single serve due to the better value for the consumer but resulting in the consumer eating a larger pack so not achieving this obesity reducing in serve size/self eat objective.
  • Preventing these products being sold within a set distance from the till points – will cause significant costs and disruption in merchandising and the physical movement of refrigeration in some cases to achieve.
The end date to submit feedback is 22nd Feb 2021, then on 6th Oct 2021 it may become law, for implementation April 2022, so very tight timelines.
Please do read the proposal below and supporting documentation attached from the ACS and give us much support as you can. Attached are template letters produced by the ACS for you as wholesalers to use to send on to the both Matt Hancock and also Kwasi Kwarteng, as well as a letter for your retailers to send on to their local MP. Consultation closes on Feb 22nd so please act now.
John Kinney
Sales & Marketing Director
Unitas Wholesale
Dear All,
Thank you to those who joined our member call regarding the Government’s Obesity Strategy proposals to restrict promotions of products high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) by location and price. The proposals in their current form will impact any retail business with more than 50 employees, including all symbol group retailers, with stores over 2,000sqft.
As discussed in the call, we are sharing resources to help retailers to respond to the consultation and make representations to your MP or senior Ministers. The deadline to respond is Monday 22nd February.
For Symbol Group Retailers with stores over 2,000sqft, there is a PowerPoint presentation available here with advice on how to respond to the enforcement consultation. There is also a template email attached for you to write to your MP encouraging them to write to the Secretary of State for Health.
For Multiple Retailers/ Symbol Group Head Offices/ Franchise Operators, ACS has provided a briefing/ template letter (attached) for your senior leadership team to consider writing to the Health Secretary Matt Hancock, and the Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, to raise your concerns about the proposals. We will also be contacting you all individually in the near future to share with you ACS’ draft response to the consultation and help inform your response to the consultation.
The full details of the policy are available in the consultation document here. If you have any questions, or you would like further support with your response to the consultation, please contact Eleanor.O’Connell@acs.org.uk.
Kind regards,