The clock is ticking and the roll-out of some of the Government’s new HFSS legislation is imminent.
For those who haven’t been keeping up – and data suggests nearly half of UK businesses haven’t – some new rules surrounding how foods high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) are sold and marketed are coming into effect from October.
It is not the full-scale revamp of the food system that the Government had promised. In light of the cost-of-living crisis, those in charge have opted to push back the adoption of some HFSS legislation – this includes bans on pre-watershed HFSS advertising and promotional pricing deals.
However some parts of the plan will still come into effect in October – chiefly, supermarkets will need to begin rearranging their shelves, so as not to have HFSS products in prominent parts of the store. For example, near checkouts or at the end of aisles. A guide to implementation has been published to make the transition smoother.
The UK Government’s reasoning behind the introduction of these new rules is to get a handle on the worsening obesity epidemic and improve the nation’s diet. Rules have been in the works since 2019, when a consultation into multi-buy offers was launched.
But while the incoming HFSS legislation signals hope for the nation’s health, it has also pushed food companies to consider a tricky ultimatum: spend money on potentially costly reformulation, or continue as normal and risk a considerable drop in sales. Many have favoured the former option.
Here are 11 companies which have reformulated their products ahead of October to be HFSS-compliant.
1. Kettle Chips
Kettle Chips has brought out a new trio of snacks ahead of the HFSS ban. The new Bread Bites range includes Kettle Sourdough Bites with Parmigiano Reggiano and Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, Kettle Focaccia Bites with Sea Salt, Rosemary and Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and Kettle Naan Bites with Spiced Onion Bhaji with Chilli & Toasted Onion. Per 100g, the Focaccia Bites contain 50 fewer calories, nearly 15g less fat and slightly less salt than the brand’s usual Lightly Salted offering.
Since more than half of the pizza brand’s offering is considered HFSS, Goodfella’s has launched three new reformulated pizzas in the flavours Stonebaked Thin Sloppy Joe, Stonebaked Thin Mushroom, Spinach and Garlic, and Deep Pan Baked Spicy Chicken Sizzler. Compared with a serving of the brand’s Stonebaked Thin Chicken and Herb, the Deep Pan Baked Spicy Chicken Sizzler contains 65 more calories, but 3g less fat and 0.2g less salt.
The crisp brand will reformulate its Lightly Sea Salted line of crisps, and the new line will be available from May. Tyrell’s owner, KP Snacks, will also reformulate the entire Pop Chips range, and introduce a non-HFSS Hula Hoops alternative called Puft before the legislation deadline.
Another crisp brand, Walkers, is bringing out a new non-HFSS line for three of its most popular flavours. Mild Cheese & Onion, Lightly Salted and A Dash of Salt & Vinegar will have 45% less salt than its usual offering. Walkers has made the change utilising new technologies and different ingredients in place of sodium, it says, though the crisps are also sold in smaller portion sizes.
5. Mr Kipling
Mr Kipling’s Deliciously Mr Kipling range will be rolled out over the next few months. It promises to contain 30% less sugar than traditional lines, and up to 10 times more fibre. The new range includes Lemon, Bakewell, Angel, Chocolate, and Chocolate Caramel and all are 99 calories per portion.
Rich Tea Biscuit makers McVitie’s has launched a HFSS compliant version of the product which have been reformulated to have 30% less sugar than the original product. Additionally, there are only 38 calories per biscuit.
Despite taking the Government to court over incoming HFSS regulation, the cereal company Kellogg’s has pledged to reformulate several of its brands. It says it will cut sugar across all of its children’s cereals by 10% and salt by 20% by the end of 2022. Additionally, it has been working for the last year on cutting the salt content in its flagship Special K product by 20%.
Like Kellogg’s, KIND is attempting to lobby against HFSS legislation, which it says unfairly punishes the high nut content of its bars. Nevertheless, it has also launched a new Breakfast Almond Butter Bar, in which nuts have mainly been replaced with oats, millet, buckwheat, amaranth and quinoa. Compared with the brand’s Breakfast Peanut Butter Bar, it has 3.4g less fat and nearly 4g less sugar. Almond butter is also high in fibre.
9. Snack a Jacks
All lines under the PepsiCo brand Snack a Jacks will be reformulated as non-HFSS before the end of the year, with its Sweet Chilli and Caramel rice crackers the first to see the change. The snacks are already under 100 calories per serving, but the new recipe will seek to also bring down the level of salt and fat included.
Weetabix’s latest flavour addition is a collaboration with sugar company and golden syrup producer Lyle’s. The HFSS-compliant breakfast option, called Weetabix Baked with Lyle’s Golden Syrup, has nearly a gram less fat than Weetabix’s Chocolate flavour, fewer calories and less salt.
11. Capri Sun
Using monk fruit concentrate, Capri Sun has almost halved the amount of added sugar in its original juice drink sold in the US. Fruit juices are typically high in sugar anyway, because fruit itself is, and companies add extra. However the reformulation means there is now 40% less sugar in each pouch. Revamped juice pouches are set to hit shelves from August, according to Capri Sun owner Kraft Heinz.
Follow in these companies’ footsteps and learn how to innovate within HFSS legislation. This Masterclass offers invaluable information: