Is your business on board with healthy eating regulations?

We look at recently introduced regulations to encourage healthier eating and what they mean for seafood business or products.

The start of a new year is a time when consumers often make a resolution to eat and drink more healthily.  

The Government is also taking steps to help us all eat more healthily. It set out its commitment to tackling obesity in a 2020 paper. This recognises the importance of empowering consumers to make informed choices by giving accurate product information and restricting the promotion of some products deemed ‘less healthy’. 

New regulations were introduced last year in England to make it easier for consumers to make healthier choices. The good news for seafood businesses is that seafood is a natural choice for anyone who wants to eat well. It’s high in protein, packed with vitamins and minerals and oily fish is rich in omega-3 fats. 

We recommend you take time to understand what impact these regulations might have on your business. For example, you may need to be mindful of how it is prepared or what it is sold with. 

Consultations on similar proposals have been taking place in Scotland and Wales, however any business, wherever located, may be asked to supply information to assist compliance in England. 

So, what could these regulations mean for your business?  

Employee holding a box of frozen fish fillets
Suppliers to foodservice businesses with more the 250 employees need to provide information on calorie content of products

Providing nutritional information in foodservice outlets

The out-of-home sector is any outlet where food or drink is prepared in a way that means it is ready for immediate consumption, on or off the premises. It includes seafood restaurants and fish and chip shops.  

Unlike prepacked foods, restaurants and takeaways did not usually provide consumers with nutritional information on the foods they purchase. However, The Calorie Labelling (Out of Home Sector) (England) Regulations 2021 now require businesses in England with more than 250 employees to provide information on the calorie content of the food at the point of sale. 

Businesses with less than 250 employees are exempt from this requirement, and this will mean that many seafood restaurants and takeaways will not need to supply calorie labelling. However, we are finding that this regulation is having an impact on businesses supplying to food service businesses who need the information to calculate the calorie value of their recipes. For example, a seafood wholesaler supplying fish fillets to a fish and chip shop.  

Tools and guidance

Tools and guidance are available on the external links below. 

Restrictions on promotion and placement for less healthy products sold in retail

Pre-packed food sold in retail outlets has had nutritional labelling for many years. However, The Government’s obesity strategy aims to reduce the consumption of certain foods and drinks that are high in fat, salt or sugar (HFSS). In 2021 they introduced The Food (Promotion and Placement) (England) Regulations 2021 regulation to restrict retail promotions in England which encourage consumption of food and drink deemed ‘less healthy’.

A product’s HFSS score is a complex calculation. Points are added for saturates, sugars, salt and energy (calories) in the product, and then points subtracted for the quantities of fibre, protein, and also the content of fruit, vegetables and nuts. This gives a final score. It is this score which determines whether promotion is restricted.

Retailers must ensure that HFSS foods are not included in volume promotions such as ‘2 for 1’ or placed in premium locations in store.

Seafood is a healthy protein so why is this relevant to the seafood industry? The regulation sets categories of foods which are potentially HFSS. This includes breaded and battered seafood. Less processed seafood products such as smoked and canned products are not categorised as potentially HFSS.

Where a product is in a HFSS category, but does not score as HFSS the retailer must supply evidence that the product is not HFSS and can therefore be on promotion. Although the regulation places the requirement on the retailer, in practice the supplier is being asked to provide evidence of a products HFSS score.

Tools and guidance

Tools and guidance are available on the external links below. 

Further information

You can read the policy paper ‘Tackling obesity: empowering adults and children to live healthier lives’ on the UK Government website from the link below: 

You can find a full version of The Calorie Labelling (Out of Home Sector) (England) Regulations 2021 from the link below:

You can find a full version of The Food (Promotion and Placement) (England) Regulations 2021 from the link below:

We’ve collated information and resources on the health and nutritional benefits of seafood, you can access this from the link below:

Contact our Regulation team

Our Regulation team can help you with any specific queries about regulations affecting the seafood industry. Contact us by emailing

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