Kellogg’s is taking the British government to court over new rules that would prevent some of its breakfast cereals from being prominently displayed in grocery stores due to their high sugar content.
Kellogg’s, whose brands include Frosties, Coco Pops and Crunchy Nut, said the formula used by the government to measure the nutritional value of cereals was incorrect and not enforced legally.
“Measure dry cereals when they’re almost always eaten with milk,” said Chris Silcock, Kellogg’s UK managing director.
“All of this is important because unless you take into account the nutritional elements that are added when the cereal is eaten with milk, you are not measuring the full nutritional value of the meal.”
Silcock said the company was going to go to court to change the formula.
Kellogg’s has obtained approval of a request for judicial review and will begin a court hearing today.
The new rules will restrict the placement of high-fat, high-salt or high-sugar (HFSS) foods and beverages in stores and the promotion of those products by retailers starting in October.
Products deemed less healthy may not be displayed in key store locations such as checkouts, entrances, aisle ends, and their online equivalents.
Stores will also have to restrict volume price promotions such as “buy one get one free” or “3 for 2” on so-called HFSS products.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said it could not comment on the Kellogg’s case but defended the new rules.
“Obesity costs the NHS more than £6bn (€7.1bn) a year and is the second leading cause of cancer in the UK,” a DHSC spokesman said.
“Breakfast cereals contribute 7% to children’s average daily intake of free sugar.
“Restricting the promotion and advertising of less healthy foods is an important part of the intergovernmental strategy to halve childhood obesity by 2030, prevent harmful diseases and improve healthy life expectancy,” the spokesperson said.