Large hospitality businesses to face pre-9pm junk food advertising ban

24 June 2021 by
Large hospitality businesses to face pre-9pm junk food advertising ban

Large hospitality businesses will be banned from advertising junk food before 9pm under government plans to tackle obesity.

The rules will come into force at the end of next year and impact firms with 250 or more employees that make or sell foods high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS).

It means adverts for HFSS products can only be shown on television and during on-demand programming from 9pm until 5.30am.

Online restrictions will be limited to paid-for advertising, meaning larger restaurant and pub groups can still post images of food on their websites, app or social media channels.

Small hospitality businesses with under 250 staff will be exempt from the rules following concerns it could hamper the industry's recovery.

UKHospitality warned the restrictions would place 'considerable constraints' on operators with little apparent flexibility to redress the changes if they proved to be ineffective in tackling childhood obesity.

The government said rules will be ‘proportional' and ensure healthier products such as honey, olive oil, avocados and marmite will be excluded from the restrictions.

Public health minister Jo Churchill said: "We are committed to improving the health of our children and tackling obesity.

"This action on advertising will help to wipe billions off the national calorie count and give our children a fair chance of a healthy lifestyle."

This is the latest in a series of government anti-obesity measures set to hit larger hospitality groups from next year. From April 2022 restaurants will be banned from offering free refills of sugary drinks, and businesses with 250 or more employees will have to list calorie information on menus and labels for non-prepacked food and soft drinks.

A government spokesperson confirmed a consultation on introducing mandatory calorie labelling on alcohol sold in the on-trade is still due to go ahead and will begin 'shortly'.

The government said it was looking to work alongside the food and drink industry and will issue guidance to help prepare for the changes.

Image: BarthFotografie/

The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.


Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking