Unhealthy Meal Deals could be banned in Wales

You might not be able to get crisps or chocolate in a Meal Deal in Wales as part of Welsh Government plans to tackle obesity.

The proposals would restrict items with high fat, salt, or sugar from being included in deals where items can be bought together for a cheaper price.

But the Welsh Retail Consortium have written to ministers to warn that this could limit choice for consumers, and would lower competition between shops, which would mean that food prices would go up.

It’s a part of a group of proposals including bans on multibuy offers like two for one and temporary price reductions. A consultation for the proposals was launched in 2022.

There have also been proposals for similar bans in England.

We spoke to people in Cardiff to see what they thought.

One said “They’re a good thing for me because they’re cheaper. I don’t worry too much about the health side of it. If I was eating them everyday sure I’d be worried about them”

But another thought meal deals weren’t unhealthy, “I think you could do a lot worse to be honest. I think it’s already expensive enough”

“The government think that but I wonder what other people think about that because people have different extremes of being healthy depending on their affordability. They have got good value for lots of people who cannot afford to buy others. So they might be enticed by a bag of crisps but who wouldn’t be.”

David Thomson, of the Food and Drink Federation Cymru told the BBC “The Welsh government must ensure that any policy does not increase the cost of food for the people of Wales at a time when households across the country are struggling to make ends meet.

More details and a technical consultation are expected in April 2023.