New health strategy recommends further taxes on core convenience lines

The National Food Strategy recommends imposing taxes on sugar and salt used for the production of confectionery and snacks

Crisps and snacks price comparison

The cost of confectionery and snacks in wholesale could increase as part of radical new recommendations made to the government.

Published on 15 July, the National Food Strategy is an independent review commissioned by the government, outlining measures aimed at improving health throughout England.

The recommendations include imposing a tax of £3 per kg of sugar and £6 per kg of salt used in the production of products such as sugar confectionery or snacks. It claimed the tax would incentivise manufacturers to reformulate or reduce their product sizes.

“The CEOs of major food companies have told us privately that they cannot make these changes without government intervention. They need a level playing field if they are to start making their products healthier, otherwise the competition will simply move in and undercut them.”

Referencing a survey about the soft drinks sugar levy, the report claimed 63% of the UK wants to see a similar tax applied to other products.

However, the report also recognised the financial challenges price increases on value products would create for low-income households. It recommended increasing the income threshold for free school meal and Healthy Start vouchers, both of which can be redeemed from convenience stores, to £20,000 before benefits. Currently, only families with an income under £7,400 can claim free school meal vouchers.

Other recommendations in report include mandatory reporting for wholesalers and food retailers with more than 250 employees. This would make them liable to publish annual reports on the sale of food and drink high in fat, salt and sugar, sales of protein by tape, sales of vegetables, sales of fruit, food waste and total soft drinks sales.


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