New figures from IRI estimate that 26% of space is potentially ‘up for grabs’ in UK supermarkets when new regulations impacting in-store promotion and off-shelf display of high fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) products come into force next year.  HFSS categories – including confectionery, yoghurts and fruit juices – currently make up 38% of actual store space. This will drop to just 12% when the restrictions are introduced (IRI Analytics: 2019 UK major multiples).

Across all HFSS categories, IRI forecasts that around 5% of sales are at risk, although some categories will be more impacted than others. Chocolate will be most impacted, with 14% of sales estimated to be lost, due to chocolate gaining more incremental sales from being on display and from volume promotions. Sugar confectionery is estimated to lose around 5% of sales (table below).

Estimated impact on HFSS categories due to in-store restrictions: 

Category% £ Sales Retained% £ Sales Lost
Chocolate 86%14%
Biscuits 91%9%
Ice Cream 92%8%
Crisps, Snacks & Nuts 92%8%
Pizza 92%8%
Cakes 93%7%
Sugar Confectionery 95%5%
Yoghurt 96%4%
Soft Drinks 97%3%
Ready Meals 98%2%
Frozen Fish 99%1%
Chilled Deli 99%1%
Frozen Potatoes 99%1%
Total HFSS Categories 95%5%

Source: IRI Analytics, HFSS, based on 2019 Major Multiples

Joe Harriman, IRI’s HFSS Strategic Consultant, comments: “With the ban on in-store promotional activity and display for HFSS products, this is a real opportunity for brands that have no in-category competition or that offer healthier alternatives as retailers look to rethink their ranges. 

“It’s not just newly available space either. With retailers rethinking their store layout, with initiatives like ‘power aisles’ and ‘premium’ in-aisle displays, there are plenty of opportunities for both LFSS (low fat salt sugar) and HFSS categories to benefit.”

The race for space in the chilled aisle

IRI’s analysis shows that the impact of the new regulations will be felt strongly in the chilled category where HFSS products currently have 52% of display space, which is expected to drop to 18%. The removal of products like desserts, pizzas and yoghurts will increase the amount of available off-shelf space. 

In terms of incremental value within chilled dairy and desserts, IRI data shows that butters, fats and margarines (with 13% of off-shelf space) deliver the most value, with £4,608 of incremental sales per unit of display. Desserts and yoghurts have a much lower impact, delivering £995 and £1,060 respectively on sales uplift, despite taking up more than 50% of shelf space.

According to IRI’s Joe Harriman, the lasting legacy of the HFSS regulations will be the impact on new product development (NPD) and how manufacturers plan to develop and launch new products in the future.

“We know that 91% of products fail and are gone within 12-18 months. We also know that 16% of all new products have some off-shelf support in the first four weeks after launch, but this will no longer be allowed for HFSS products. Manufacturers and retailers will need to make sure NPDs don’t fail and to think seriously about how they launch new products in the future.”

Further analysis and data on the impact of HFSS restrictions is available from IRI’s recent webinar: ‘HFSS Restrictions; Understand, Calculate & Plan’

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