How are retailers preparing for the incoming HFSS legislation?

The betterRetailing team finds out how retailers are feeling as the introduction of HFSS legislation gets closer

HFSS High fat salt and sugar foods

1Jeyaseelan Thambirajah, Budgens of Hinchingbrooke, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire

“We have 18 stores, but they are split up into four companies and each of those companies has less than 50 staff. We have spoken to Booker and the advice we have from them is that we don’t need to worry about at the moment.

“However, I have appointed a new merchandiser, who will be examining the regulations and what they mean for us, and then we’ll move forward and act on it. He is going to go through all of it.

“We don’t want to go against the regulations, but at the moment, we think our stores are not affected and we will be ok.

“There are other retailers who are my friends and are telling me that I’ve got to follow the regulations, but I think this HFSS situation is going to affect the supermarkets and multiples more than us for now, and we might look to get some more potential sales as a result.”

2Danny Wilson, 17 One Stop stores in Yorkshire

“We’ve worked out our plans together with One Stop and we have got one store that we think we have to change the layout around to hit the regulations. One Stop helped us to create a plan and work out what we need to move and where we can move it. We will be refitting that store very soon. We did the design a couple of months back and we’ll be changing and removing some of the offer bays.

Wine and other alcoholic drinks will be moving closer to the till and other products that aren’t allowed will be moved away from the counter. But ultimately, it wasn’t too bad an experience, to be honest. There were only a couple of things that needed moving. And because there are legislations that are being held back – like the multibuy promotions – it means things will happen more gradually and we’ll be able to prepare better, but everything is in hand at the moment.”

3Avtar Sidhu, St John’s Budgens, Kenilworth, Warwickshire

“The promotional side of HFSS has been deferred to October 2023 now, and as soon as that decision was made, we started seeing some manufacturers bringing multibuys and price-marked packs back again.

“This year, it’s only the placement side of things that will be affected. We did a trial in our store and we’ve always looked to put healthier things near the checkout and tillpoints anyway. By and large it went well, and when we did the trial, we got some really good results, especially with nuts. They were the standout performers and they 100% work in place of chocolates and sweets. We’ve put in a whole nut bay at the front of the store near the newspapers and it’s been really successful. With this in mind, it feels like the placement side of things with HFSS won’t have that much of an impact. We won’t be making that many huge changes, especially at the moment.”

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