A slim majority of Britons support the government’s plans to completely ban online advertising of foods and drinks high in saturated fat, salt and sugar (HFSS), according to an exclusive poll by The Grocer.
The YouGov survey found a similar level of support for the introduction of a new watershed, banning “junk food” TV advertising before 9pm.
The poll comes with the government expected to confirm its plans for a crackdown on HFSS advertising in the coming days, with the recent Queen’s Speech indicating it was moving forward with proposals despite overwhelming opposition from the industry.
YouGov surveyed 1,200 UK adults on May 19, with results showing 57% of adults would support the proposed ban on internet advertising.
This compared to 58% who supported the proposed TV commercial ban.
In both cases, the British were three times more likely to support the bans than against them, with around a quarter of respondents neither supporting nor opposing the proposals.
The poll also showed much stronger support for the crackdown among middle-class buyers than working-class respondents.
An overwhelming 63% of people in category ABC1 supported the proposals, compared to less than half (48%) of C2DEs, although the latter group also expressed higher levels of indifference.
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This week’s poll concerns many companies looking to reformulate their products ahead of proposed advertising bans next year, as well as government proposals to ban volume and location promotions of HFSS products in stores.
However, there was controversy this week after Nestlé admitted that more than 60% of its top-selling products were unhealthy.
The Financial Times reported an internal presentation leak to its senior executives, which said the majority of its products did not meet “a recognized definition of health.” According to the report, only 37% of the company’s products, excluding items such as pet food and specialty medical nutrition, were rated above 3.5 according to the Australian grading system. by health stars who rate food products out of five.
“Nestlé is working on a company-wide project to update its pioneering nutrition and health strategy,” a spokesperson told The Grocer.
“We look at our entire portfolio across different phases of people’s lives to make sure our products help meet their nutritional needs and support a balanced diet.
“As we envision our future nutrition strategy, our first focus is on assessing the portion of our food and beverage portfolio that can be measured against external nutrition profiling systems. Systems like the Health Star Rating and Nutri-Score are helpful in this regard and allow consumers to make informed choices. However, they don’t capture everything. About half of our sales are not covered by these systems. This includes categories such as infant nutrition, specialty health products, and pet foods, which meet regulated nutritional standards. “
“Our direction of travel has not changed and is clear: we will continue to make our wallet tastier and healthier.”