Natasha’s Law: how are retailers coping with the new regulations?

The Better Retailing team talks to retailers about how they’re coping with new regulations around allergens and labelling, four months on

Making sure all products are listed correctly has always been important, but the introduction of Natasha’s Law has made this task even more serious. We spoke to a number of retailers to find out what actions they’re taking their stores.

Bart Dalla-Mura, Tysoe Village Stores, Warwickshire: “We use Planglow [for food labelling] and we’ve started making our own sandwiches again. We used to be able to handwrite the labels for our sandwiches, just saying what they were and what they cost. But we can’t do that any more. You need to have a clear warning box stating everything you’ve put in there – all the ingredients and allergens. We made our own mince pies over Christmas and we had to the same for them, too. But the support has been very good. People are very good at providing labels. There are label companies that provide the software and support mechanisms for it. It just takes some investment in a label printer or the software. But having the printer has saved 40 minutes off my sandwich-making because I don’t have to write the labels out. However, to make things simpler for us and our customers, we’ve reduced our range down to six or seven sandwiches now.”

AJ Singh, Premier Morley, Leeds: “We’ve had massive help from the likes of Just Eat for our deliveries and Rollover for our hot dogs. Most customers just want to see that your store and the preparation areas are clean. Covid-19 has heightened people’s attention as well, and that goes hand in hand with Natasha’s Law. The labelling of our products is outsourced, so in that way it’s been quite easy for us. We’re using a local supplier, and they’re really on top of it. It’s key to have good communication with your supplier to make sure they know what you want. We’re looking at expanding our food-to-go options, so if Natasha’s Law labelling is something that we have to do, then we’ll do that happily. We’re talking to our food suppliers to see if they can provide some training for our staff. But as long as the labelling is there and we have the right standards, then things are quite straightforward.”

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Harj Dhasee, Village Stores Mickleton, Gloucestershire: “Our breakfast offer is a lot more geared towards croissants and similar things now. They’re premium treats for people and they’re baked in store. That’s meant that we have to prelabel everything. But we prepared quite early for the changes in the law, so our labelling technology was updated back when Natasha’s Law irst came in. Our suppliers were very on board with it as well and they were very quick to react. We use Country Choice and they’ve been excellent – really helpful. They’ve given us all the support and information that we’ve needed. I think that’s the most important thing. Just make sure that you’re a part of the conversation and have a good working relationship with your suppliers. If you’re talking with them regularly, and asking for advice and help for finding the labelling things your store requires, they’ll be able give you the help that you need.”


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