Kellogg's, the American food manufacturer which owns brands such as Special K and Coco Pops, has reportedly filed a lawsuit against the British government over its new junk food regulations, which would prevent certain cereals from having a prominent place on supermarket shelves.
The breakfast cereal company, whose brands include Nutri-Grain, Cornflakes, and Crunchy Nut, is battling government regulations that prohibit the promotion of foods high in fat, sugar, and salt (HFSS), which are due to come into effect in October as part of the nation’s plan to combat childhood obesity.
Under the new rules, junk foods would have a limited in-store promotion, which means they would not be permitted to be displayed in high-profile locations such as checkouts, aisle ends, store entrances, or prominent spots on grocery apps and sites.
Kellogg's claims that the guidelines ignore the fact that 92% of consumers eat cereal with milk or yogurt, altering the nutritional content of the company's products and keeping them from being classed as unhealthy food.
Kellogg's, which will sue the Department of Health and Social Care on Wednesday, stated that it has gone to the court after failing to have a fair discussion with the UK government.
The lawsuit will serve as a crucial test for the regulation changes, which involve a ban on junk food ads online and on television before 9 pm starting next year.
The government has firmly stood behind the new rules and is fighting Kellogg's lawsuit to avoid setting a precedent that could encourage other companies to sidestep the limitations.
As per DHSC, breakfast cereals make a significant contribution of around 7% to children's daily average free sugar consumption.
According to DHSC, restricting the advertising and promotion of less nutritious foods is an essential part of the cross-government tactic to reduce obesity in children by half by 2030, preventing life-threatening diseases, as well as improve average life expectancy, to continue to level the playing field in terms of health across the country.
Obesity costs the NHS over £6 billion each year and is the second leading cause of cancer in the UK.