Getty xmas open sign

Remember all the kerfuffle about HFSS? Which retailers would it affect and how would it be managed… and so on and so forth. Well those of you whom it did affect might not want to read any further because it turns out that 80% of consumers have no idea what HFSS stands for.

What is more, according to a new survey from Purity Soft Drinks, fewer than one in six consumers had even heard of HFSS legislation. And 22% of consumers who claimed to have heard of ‘HFSS’ thought that it stood for ‘Healthy Food, Sizes and Servings’ – and just 4% of adults correctly identified what ‘HFSS’ means. – high in fat, salt and sugar, if you’ve forgotten.

While the industry ties itself up in knots adhering to the latest rules and regs, consumers continue along in their merry way, blissfully unaware of the red tape that tangles businesses.

I know this is not particularly festive but it did bring to mind the Sunday Trading laws and the fact that so many consumers still don’t understand them. You only have to follow the threads on various online notice boards to hear people ranting and raving about ‘browsing time’ in supermarkets on a Sunday morning, and asking why they can’t buy as well as browse – and that’s just one example.

Every year I seem to get asked by someone why supermarkets are shut on Easter Sunday or Christmas Day. And, of course, there’s the standing joke that Asda/Tesco/Sainsbury’s et al are shut for one day so we’d all better stock up for a week!

Luckily service stations are exempt from the Sunday trading rules but with many forecourt shops as big as and as good as (if not better than) a small supermarket, you can see the confusion.

Anyway, I say this every year, if you are open on Christmas Day please ensure you display this clearly to your customers. You’ll be a hero to people who have run out of something Christmas morning – think batteries – or an extra gift for someone they’ve forgotten.

And for those of you who think it’s terrible getting people to work on Christmas Day – even if it’s just for a few hours – every year I hear that some people like getting out of the house and away from the family for a little quiet time!

And with that I’d like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and prosperous new year.