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UKHospitality hits out at plans to restrict price promotions of food high in fat, sugar and salt

14 January 2019 by
UKHospitality hits out at plans to restrict price promotions of food high in fat, sugar and salt

UKHospitality has hit out at the timing of a Department of Health consultation into price promotions of food high in fat, sugar and salt.

The department plans to restrict volume-based promotions such as buy one get one free, as well as free refills of sugary drinks.

The consultation asks which businesses, products and types of promotion should be covered by the restrictions.

UKHospitality has said the industry needs support, not further regulation from government, as it faces the uncertainty of Brexit.

Chief executive Kate Nicholls said: "It is staggering that government has launched this consultation now, while the food industry is trying to manage planning for a no-deal Brexit. It also jars with recent comments from the health secretary stating now is the time to stop legislating to deal with the excesses of the few, and to rein back the nanny state.

"We support efforts to promote healthier eating habits and the sector continues to take decisive, proactive action in a range of areas. Price promotions in the out-of-home sector are designed to provide good value to hard-pressed consumers, which our members do on a daily basis, allowing people the opportunity to treat themselves when dining out.

"Year-on-year food inflation has climbed to over 6%, so this latest proposal is clearly unhelpful and, with more uncertainty in food supply on the horizon because of Brexit, means the sector faces challenging times ahead. Hospitality businesses need a supportive operating environment, not nanny state measures that will restrict choice and lead to higher prices for consumers."

The consultation is part of a raft of measures being considered to tackle childhood obesity.

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