Kellogg’s launches legal challenge against HFSS guidelines

By Gwen Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

Kellogg's planned the challenge the rules on the promotion HFSS in court
Kellogg's planned the challenge the rules on the promotion HFSS in court

Related tags: Ambient, HFSS

Kellogg’s has launched a legal challenge against the Government’s upcoming restrictions on retail promotions for food and drink high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS), claiming the rules unfairly represented breakfast cereals.

The manufacturer argued that the formula used to measure the nutritional value of food was wrong when it came to breakfast cereals – the Nutrient Profiling Model (NPM) only accounted for portions of dry cereals and not for a bowl of cereal and milk.  

Kellogg’s called for the application of the formula to be changed so that it reflected the presence of milk with cereal when eaten. A judge has accepted that the case has merit and has agreed that it can proceed to the next stage, which is a hearing in Court, said Kellog’s. 

‘Not as intended’  

“We’ve tried on a number of occasions to have a discussion with the UK Government over the past 12 months about this,”​ said a spokesman for the manufacturer. The way that the Government is now proposing to use the NPM is for a purpose for which it was not intended.” 

Kellogg’s highlighted that the original purpose was to answer if a product could appear in advertising on television before 9pm and not to decide if it could appear in certain areas of the supermarket or online. 

“As with a lot of cases, ours is made up of a number of legal arguments, which will all be discussed in court and considered by the Judge​,” the spokesman added. “The technical guidance that applies the NPM is not contained within the regulations and has not therefore been scrutinised by Parliament. We believe that it is important that a policy of this scale is properly implemented.” 

Kellogg’s also believed that the enforcement of these new rules went beyond the legal power the Food Safety Act was originally intended for. 

‘Not legally made’  

“In other words, Parliament has not yet agreed to give the Government these powers,​” spokesman continued. “Our argument is that, for the reasons above, the regulations have not been legally made.” 

“It is all about seeking a small, but important change to the application of the NPM calculations. Breakfast cereals are dehydrated foods, that are intended to absorb milk to make the food more palatable and give the food its intended flavour and texture. 

“Hardly anyone sits down to a bowl of dry breakfast cereals in the morning - cereals are almost always eaten with milk. And that’s how we believe they should be measured – just as most of us eat them.” 

From October this year, new legislation will restrict retail promotion of HFSS products. The changes could lead to a reported loss of £1.1bn per year, according to IRI.   

Related topics: NPD, Ambient foods, Obesity

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