The ever-changing HFSS regulations: What opportunities are available to food and drink brands in Convenience and Away from Home sectors when planning where to invest in Q4 and beyond?

22 May 2022
Author: Kirsty Whyte

The recent shift in HFSS guidelines has resulted in added confusion for brands. Get clarity on the subject and seek help to ensure you comply with the regulations in October and into next year.

When considering your strategy for HFSS, now is time to look out with the Grocery sector. There are many opportunities for brands in other key channels such as Convenience and Away from Home. With new HFSS restrictions on the horizon, brands could exploit other key selling locations to ensure they sustain sales.


Why should brands target Convenience?

It’s no secret that growth in the Convenience sector has spiked in recent years. The channel has maintained consumer loyalty and continued to expand its product and category offering, following a dramatic spike experienced over the past couple of years. Today, with more of us working from home and buying local, convenience stores are still evolving and demand for them remains high.

When it comes to HFSS, the sector won’t be greatly impacted as it doesn’t fall within the scope of the new legislation. The new rules state that only stores over 2,000 square feet with more than 50 employees are applicable. There is still some uncertainty with where symbol stores fit within the new rules. However, at present there doesn’t appear to be the level of restrictions the grocery sector will experience. HFSS brands in particular could benefit from unlimited promotional space for their high fat, salt and sugar products. Untapped access to this sector could help you increase sales away from the supermarket aisles and fill the gaps from any sales lost due to restrictions in Grocery.

Access brand new Convenience EPOS data & steer your strategy

In the past, data in the convenience sector was non-existent. Fast forward to today and finally there’s a way to get your hands on some. Digital solutions like Thumbprint’s product Pinpoint, provide exclusive access to the largest and most granular EPOS data available in symbol and independent retail.

Full category data is available, including competitor sales, and individual transactions to help you understand what else is bought with your brands. This means operating across symbol and independent stores is less of a daunting prospect with the help of exclusive EPOS data to make the best decisions and take the right actions to sell more.

No longer are you in the dark when it comes to Convenience. Is the new HFSS legislation is the nudge brands like yours need to explore this growing channel?


What opportunities are available to brands in Away from Home?

With the HFSS legislation set to impact sales across the Grocery sector, it’s time for brands to think out with traditional multiple retail. With over 400,000 outlets across several channels, the opportunities are vast. The Away from Home sector’s ability to reach such a wide set of the population means brands can use it to plug the many gaps where they don’t have the same Grocery store presence. Away From Home is about connecting with the always-on consumer in the places where they spend a lot of their time. 

Ahead of the new rules being enforced, brands should be looking for different ways to boost sales. For many, activity in Away from Home may be in early stages, or a sector you simply haven’t exploited yet. However, the scale of channels it now offers means the potential to get your products noticed is huge. From pubs and restaurants to leisure and entertainment, hotels and holiday parks to schools and offices, and more, brands can reach a wide consumer base by stepping outside the supermarket.


The trend for QSR and takeaway is still on the rise – get involved now

One of the biggest shifts in the Away from Home channel has experienced recently is in the QSR (quick service restaurants) sector. Consumer dining habits have transformed over the past few years and the demand for digital ordering it at record high. Big delivery aggregators such as Deliveroo, Just Eat and Uber Eats have paved the way for brands to promote products on their digital ordering platforms. Many brands have achieved results already, seeing a spike in sales due to maximising this new selling avenue. With the trend for QSR and takeaway showing no signs of slowing down, more brands should consider this as a way to increase sales following the impact of HFSS.

Talk to us to discover opportunities in new sectors

With a network of sales and marketing agencies as part of our group, Avidity is well equipped to support your brand to tackle the new HFSS legislation. Cut through the confusion when it comes to the uncertainty of HFSS. We can help prepare you for what lies ahead:

  • If you need advice on brand strategy, our sales consultancy agency Sellex can support you with key areas related to the new legislation – a revised merchandising strategy, a revised promotion and display strategy, a revised pricing strategy and re-allocation of retailer terms.
  • From permanent and agile field marketing teams to activation and seasonal selling, our field marketing teams McCurrach and Standout can ensure you are HFSS ready.
  • Our digital and data brand, Thumbprint can fulfil all your data needs with our market-leading EPOS data products. They are designed to help you operate efficiently whilst ultimately selling more.
  • With covid restrictions eased across the UK, sampling and experiential marketing is on the rise again and could become more important than ever when tackling HFSS. Brands will need to consider new avenues to increase sales and our experiential marketing business Wave is on hand to assist with this.

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