Evolving Regulations in the Food and Drink Sector: A Comprehensive Update

From nutrition and health claims to allergen labeling, the food and drink industry faces a wave of regulatory changes that will impact businesses and consumers alike.

The food and drink sector is no stranger to the ever-changing landscape of regulations and compliance. In this quarterly regulatory update, we delve into the most impactful developments in recent months and explore the potential changes on the horizon. From proposed reforms to the enforcement of nutrition and health claims to updated guidance on allergen labeling, these changes have the potential to reshape the industry and the way businesses operate. Let’s explore each of these areas in detail.

Nutrition and health claims – proposed changes to enforcement regime:

Proposed improvement notices regime aims to streamline enforcement of nutrition and health claims regulations.

The government is currently consulting on a reform to the enforcement procedure for nutrition and health claims regulation in England. The proposed improvement notices regime would align this legislation with other food regulations, providing a more consistent and low-resource approach to enforcement. Currently, enforcement is limited to criminal prosecution, which can be costly and time-consuming. This has led to a reluctance among enforcement authorities to bring cases to court, allowing businesses to continue using unauthorized claims without facing meaningful sanctions. The of an improvement notices regime would provide a more effective means of enforcement and ensure fair competition within the industry.

Consultation on the labeling of no and low alcohol alternatives:

Government seeks views on updating labeling guidance for alcohol substitute drinks.

Recognizing the need to promote the consumption of no and low-alcohol alternatives, the government has launched an open consultation on updating the labeling guidance for these products. The consultation aims to gather views and evidence on various aspects, including changing the threshold for labeling a product as “alcohol-free,” recommending the use of “non-alcoholic” for drinks associated with alcoholic beverages, displaying alcoholic content on labels, and introducing age restriction warnings. The outcome of this consultation could lead to further regulations on the labeling of no and low-alcohol products, impacting producers in this sector.

FSA revises CBD daily limit advice:

Food Standards Agency reduces the recommended daily limit for CBD.

In its updated advice, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has reduced the daily limit for CBD consumption from 70mg to 10mg. While the FSA states that there is no acute safety risk associated with higher doses, concerns have been raised about potential long-term health problems. CBD, derived from cannabis without psychoactive properties, is used in various food and drink products. The revised advice will have implications for products currently on the market that exceed the new daily limit. The FSA will work closely with industry stakeholders to minimize the risk to consumers.

Delays to restrictions on volume price promotions including free drink refills:

Amendments to regulations provide a reprieve for multibuy and buy one get one free offers.

The Food (Promotion and Placement) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2023 have introduced a two-year delay to the restrictions on volume price promotions, including free drink refills. Originally set to come into force on October 1, 2023, these restrictions will now be implemented on October 1, 2025. This delay aims to support businesses during the cost of living crisis and allow them to focus on making food more affordable. Products with promotional packaging will benefit from a 12-month transitional period from the date the restrictions come into force.

Precautionary allergen labeling – updated technical guidance published:

Updated guidance aims to provide clear and consistent information to consumers.

Food businesses are required to indicate whether any of the 14 allergens listed in the Food Information for Consumers Regulations are deliberately included in their products. However, providing information about unintentional allergen presence, known as precautionary allergen labeling, is voluntary. In response to a tragic incident involving misleading labeling, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has published updated technical guidance to support businesses in providing compliant and consistent voluntary information to consumers. The guidance emphasizes the need for clear and specific labeling, avoiding contradictory statements, and ensuring accurate allergen information is provided to avoid any potential harm to consumers.


As the food and drink sector continues to evolve, regulatory changes play a crucial role in shaping the industry. From the proposed improvement notices regime for nutrition and health claims to the revised CBD daily limit advice, these developments have far-reaching implications for businesses and consumers alike. It is essential for industry stakeholders to stay informed and adapt to these changes to ensure compliance and maintain consumer trust.






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