Supermarket meal deals, along with multi-buy offers, could be banned in Wales under new government proposals aimed at tackling the country’s growing obesity problem. The proposals, outlined in a Welsh Government consultation document published in June 2022, aim to create a “healthier food environment in Wales” by promoting healthy eating.
The document called for the banning of “meal deal” offers where products are cheaper if purchased together, as well as reducing the prices of certain foods. The consultation period ended in September 2022, but no firm plans have been announced.
Similar plans have been put forward in England, but no action has yet been taken. However, the Welsh Retail Consortium has written to ministers expressing concerns that the proposals could have a “disproportionate” impact on food producers, reduce choice and increase food prices.
Sara Jones, head of the consortium, said some of the proposals were a step too far. “By banning these meal deals, it will just lead to restrictions in terms of availability and affordability in terms of the consumer,” she said.
James Lowman, chief executive of the Association of Convenience Stores, said the proposed rules were “unnecessarily inconsistent” with those already agreed in England, and would put “additional pressure on retailers to start from scratch on store layouts at the cost of thousands of pounds”.
A Welsh Government spokesperson said the proposals were designed to support long-term health and wellbeing. “Any specific measures will be designed to promote healthier foods and reduce health inequalities and premature deaths,” they said.