Are you HFSS ready?

This is the time of the year when we all reflect on our New Year resolutions. These reflections range from being smug for having nailed them, reflecting on learnings from losing our way, or having to embrace our complete failure to see them through.

Feb 18, 2022

By Neil Davidson

Most of our resolutions were based on healthier lifestyles, and our diets were a key part of this. (I regularly reflect on my failed resolutions being triggered by a pie, beckoning me like a meaty Siren, from an oven at Craven Cottage on the 15th of January.)

HFSS is coming, but are we ready to change?

I wonder how many marketers had resolutions based around HFSS this January? I also wonder how many are feeling smug, reflective or have failed to see through their resolutions? It seems that there’s a spread across the three possibilities, based on the coverage in the industry press. Thousands of promotions for less healthy food that affect children continue to run, and almost all of these won’t be able to run after HFSS legislation comes into effect. Major retailers also range from smug to failing, and more independent retailers don’t even know what HFSS is about than do.

The pandemic, the acceleration of the dispersion of retail channels and buyer behaviours are a heady mix to add to the cocktail of HFSS challenges. The lack of clarity about the actual detail in the legislation and a potential delay to the legislation don’t help matters either. The destination isn’t clear, and neither is when we’ll get there.

It’s never too late to get in shape

Currently, businesses have got until October to get into shape. This starts with being clear about where you sit in the legislation, how people see and buy your product and then rethinking your physical and digital retail strategy (assuming your broadcast strategy is already fixed). Then applying this thinking to implementing new structures, skills, and ways of working in your organisation, also with a new relationship with retailers in mind.

It’s a lot to tackle, with the added urgency that non-HFSS brands are circling around the opportunity offered by these changes. You can be sure that as you read this they are engaging with retailers because they are prepared to consider new ways of thinking about retail that they have never considered before.

A problem shared is a problem is a problem halved

No matter what you achieve by the end of February, a chance to share our pains, victories and learnings is always welcome. With that in mind, HeyHuman are bringing together marketers and HFSS experts to share insights, challenges, and a roadmap for 2022, whether you are smug, reflective or re-starting your HFSS resolutions.