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The new rules governing placement and promotion of HFSS foods are having interesting impacts. For those who don’t know what I am talking about, HFSS means any ‘unhealthy high in fat, salt and sugar’ product will be placed under media and promotion restrictions and will no longer be able to be placed in secondary locations in most stores.

This means that we will no longer be enticed with big promotions on those products that appeal to our impulses at times when we are most likely to be swayed.

And it’s big news as some of our biggest FMCG companies such as Ferrero, Mondelez, Unilever, Coca-Cola and Nestle derive 80% of their sales from products that score less than 3.5 stars in the health rating system.

When we talk to shoppers they tell us they are still going to want their favourite treats but they definitely feel that they won’t be tempted to buy so many of them if they are not prominently on display out of aisle, with promotions that catch their eyes. And the biggest consequence is that if they don’t see these items around the store they won’t be pulled into the aisles.

Promotions are fundamental to being able to disrupt the shopping experience by standing out. Gondola ends probably double the effectiveness of on-shelf promotions so it’s a really big deal.

The recent shrinkification of all our favourite treats will not shield the brands. But it’s interesting to see them stepping up their reformulation efforts and it shows what can be done when you have a burning platform: Nestle’s Coco Shreddies, Frosted Shreddies, Honey Cheerios, Nesquik, Cookie Crisp and Golden Nuggets have all been reformulated so these products will no longer have a red label. Kellogg’s is also making 4 of its 5 best sellers compliant.

As always there are some winners with brands like Graze being given the opportunity to undertake 100% HFSS-compliant promotions, building proof of the growth possible from centring stores around health. “The performance so far has been incredible, with the highest growth numbers we have seen on Graze in some of the trial stores. The gondola end has increased visibility to shoppers, driven excitement around health and ensured that Graze is featured within high-traffic parts of the store”*

Watch this space as we see more innovation in healthy snacks. However it’s going to be tough for retailers and manufacturers as inevitably those products that can’t be promoted are going to look more expensive at a time when shoppers are feeling the pinch.

*Source: The Grocer


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