Each week, Just Food’s journalists pick out insights from company filings that highlight sentiments in our sector. These filings signals are based on GlobalData’s analysis of earnings statements, call transcripts, investor presentations and sustainability reports. They tell us about key topics on the minds of business leaders and investors, and the themes driving a company’s activities.
This new, thematic filings coverage is powered by our underlying Disruptor data which tracks all major deals, patents, company filings, hiring patterns and social media buzz across our sectors.
The number of mentions of “regulations” in the annual filings of companies within the food sector has grown sharply since 2020. GlobalData identified “regulations” as being mentioned 17,783 times in 2022, up from 12,169 in 2021 and 9,189 in 2020 – the sharpest rise of any of the top ten most mentioned keywords.
Current data suggests 2023 is likely to yield a continuation of the trend.
This comes against the backdrop of an ever-more complex regulatory environment, including the EU’s new law on deforestation, as well as expected reforms by the likes of the Food Standards Agency in the UK to the novel food framework and plans in Canada to restrict television and digital media that promote unhealthy eating and drinking.
In the UK, the promotion and marketing of foods high and fat, salt or sugar (HFSS) have come under scrutiny, with rules restricting the sale of the products in stores at check-outs, aisle ends and their online equivalents going ahead as planned last October.
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However, last month, the UK government announced a further delay to a planned ban on two-for-the-price-of-one ‘junk-food’ offers.
Having already been pushed back the ban – part of its anti-obesity strategy – to October this year, a ban on so-called BOGOF (buy one, get one free) deals has now been delayed for another two years until October 2025.
In December, the UK government delayed its plan to ban junk-food TV adverts before the 9pm ‘watershed’ when they may be seen by children. The restrictions have been pushed back to 1 October 2025.
ESG obligations remain a hot topic for compliance officers. In March, the European Commission put forward “common criteria” companies must hit to ensure they are not making “misleading environmental claims”.
Earlier this month, Brussels tabled plans to tackle food waste in the bloc, with proposals for binding targets throughout the supply chain.