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Meal deals could be banned in Wales. Yes, you read that right

Say goodbye to your beloved sandwich, crisp and smoothie combo

As if the price inflation of the Tesco meal deal wasn’t already traumatising enough, we’re now facing the possible extinction of our beloved meal deals altogether.

The Welsh Government consultation report on Healthy Food Environment released in June 2022 detailed extensive recommendations on how to tackle obesity in Wales.

One of the proposals was for a new law to be introduced which would stop promotions on “less healthy food and drink”, including “volume offers” like meal deals.

This followed from a Cancer Research Poll which found that 86 per cent of respondents believed that deals that offer extra have an effect on how much unhealthy food they buy.

The report argued that the “promise of a bargain often entices consumers to these deals” which are “difficult to resist”, contributing to the obesity issue in Wales where 1.6 million adults are estimated to be overweight.

However, the consultation highlighted how these promotional offers are an “important way to provide food at a competitive price for people living with socio-economic disadvantage”, which is especially prevalent with the current cost of living crisis.

There has been public outrage to the report, with the Welsh Retail Consortium (WRC) stating that the idea was “regressive and irresponsible” and could increase food prices for consumers. Many also dispute the impact abolishing meal deals will even have upon obesity rates, while others argue there is already enough being done to promote healthy eating that this new law isn’t necessary.

There was no clear consensus amongst the respondents of the Government report, with 49 per cent in support of the proposed legislation and 44 per cent opposed. The consultation came to an end in September 2022 and so far no further plans have been put in place. Similar ideas have been put forward in England but nothing has been implemented there yet either.

We can only hope it stays this way.

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