News | Published June 05 2019

Calls for introduction to plain packaging for sugary snacks after IPPR publish new report

The Institute for Public Policy Research has published a new report recommending that sugary snacks be wrapped in plain packaging to discourage purchases and drive down excess consumption.

The think tank feels that introducing plain packaging to sweets, snacks and high-sugar drinks would make them less appealing, mirroring the tactics deployed in packaging cigarettes.

IPPR director Tom Kibasi said: “Plain packaging would help us all to make better choices and reduce the hassle of pester power for busy parents.”

A ban on junk food advertising is already being weighed up by parliament, with the sugar tax already in force.

However, the calls have been met with opposition from trade bodies in the industry, including the Food and Drink Federation, who say that branding remains “critical to competition” as a “fundamental” commercial right.

Yet these very same arguments were once made by those in the tobacco industry and were ultimately waved away as legislation ushered in plain packaging over several years.

Health chief Professor Dame Sally Davies is yet to respond to the calls, with the Department of Health and Social Care waiting on her stance before considering their next move.

Professor Dame Davies has already hinted at extending the sugar tax and is thought to be open to the idea of a plain packaging introduction to help meet the state’s aim of halving the child obesity rate by the year 2030.

Piotr Kieruzel, co-director and senior dentist at Ascroft Medical, said: "Young people are easily influenced by colourful packaging. Plain packaging would discourage children and adults to take up sweets as a snack.

"More promotion of fruit and veg as a snack is definitely urgent and necessary.

"In general more education and positive messages are needed , not only regarding diet, but on the correct technique of brushing teeth. From my own experience, as a dentist, most people do not know how to brush in a way which is tailored to their needs, secondly how to floss correctly."

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Authored by

Scott Challinor
Business Editor
June 05 2019

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