Cereal giant Kellogg lost a lawsuit against the UK government on Monday over restrictions on the promotion of some of its products that are too fatty or too sweet, due to come into force soon.
The promotion or highlighting of foods or drinks high in fats, sugars and salt will be restricted in supermarkets from October and the government also plans to eventually ban television advertisements for these products at certain times.
Healthy products if “consumed with milk”
The Kellogg group, known for its Corn Flakes, Frosties, Honey Pops and Special K, contested the method of calculating the nutritional value of its products, considering that its cereals are generally consumed with milk, the elements provided by the latter should to be taken into account.
But “the idea that (these foods) somehow become healthy products if eaten with milk is completely unconvincing“, tackles the judge Monday in the decision of the British High Court, consulted by AFP.
And while there are nutritional benefits to consuming cereal for breakfast, it “does not change the fact that if they contain an excess of fat, sugar or salt, this characteristic is harmful to the health of a child“, insists the magistrate.
Kellogs does not appeal
The government measure aims to tackle obesity in a country where 40% of children leave primary school overweight or obese, at a cost of 6.5 billion pounds (7.6 billion euros) per year for the public health service.
The American breakfast champion thought “disappointed“judgment in a press release, but assured”respect the court’s decision and does not intend to appeal“. He explained having “always supported the government’s strategy against obesity“.
According to the judgment, 54.7% of breakfast cereals currently sold by Kellogg will be “classified as less healthy“if the mark”does not take action to reduce sugar, fat and/or salt levels in these products“.
The brand estimated during the trial at 5 million pounds the potential impact on its annual profits.