Although criticism has been levelled at the Welsh Government for clamping down on meal-deals, comparable plans were in place for England before they were postponed to 2025.

David Davies, Secretary of State for Wales and MP for Monmouth, has addressed queries on whether the UK Government has held discussions with the Welsh Government regarding its proposal to introduce legislation restricting the placement and price promotion of products high in fat, sugar, and salt (HFSS).

Davies confirmed that while public health matters, including restrictions on HFSS products, are devolved and hence the responsibility of the Welsh Government, UK Government officials had liaised with their Welsh counterparts to update on respective policies.

Notably, HFSS product placement restrictions came into effect in England on 1 October 2022, with regulations necessitating curbs on volume price promotions. However, considering the present financial strain from escalating food costs, the UK Government decided to postpone the enforcement of volume price promotion restrictions until 1 October 2025.

Given the current challenges caused by higher food prices, this government does not want to take action now that could risk contributing further to the rise. Therefore, the UK Government are further delaying the volume price promotion restrictions, whilst we monitor the continued impact of the unprecedented global economic situation. These restrictions are now due to come into force on 1 October 2025.

David Davies, MP for Monmouth

Highlighting the intent behind meal deals, Davies mentioned that such promotions target adults seeking convenient lunch options and are not meant for bulk consumption at home. Consequently, such price promotions will remain outside the purview of England's restrictions.

Meal deals are generally targeted as lunch options for adults to consume on the go that day rather than being stockpiled at home, and they aim to reduce the cost of a single meal. Therefore, it was decided that these types of price promotions will not be in the scope of the restrictions in England.

David Davies, MP for Monmouth

In contrast, Wales plans to enact its proposed legislation to restrict meal deals high in fat, sugar, or salt in an effort to curb obesity and diabetes. This move, which has drawn criticism from retailers and eating disorder charities due to current high food prices, is expected to be initiated next year and fully implemented by 2025. The restrictions will impact lunch deals offering a sandwich, drink, and snack for a set price if they exceed the daily recommended fat, sugar, or salt content.