UK: Guidance Regarding Trademark and Brand Names Implied Nutrition and Health Claims

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On 10 November 2021, The UK’s Department of Health and Social Care published its guidance regarding trademark and brand names which could be seen as implied nutrition or health claims. The Guidance states that in accordance with the UK retained EU Regulation No1924/2006 on nutrition and health claims on food, that any nutrition and health claims implied by a trademark, brand name or fancy name appearing in the labelling, presentation or advertising of a food must be accompanied by a related authorised health or nutrition claim for it to be permitted on a food label.

There has currently been a transitional period for brand names and trademarks such as “tonic water” and “digestive biscuits” which has allowed brand names that have existed before 1 January 2005 to continue using their names until 19 January 2022. After this date however, the food industry will not be permitted to use new or existing brand names/ trademarks which could have implied health or nutritional benefit associated with them and that do not meet the requirements of UK Retained EU Regulation No 1924/2006. Therefore, products with existing brand names or trademarks which do not accompany a related authorised health or nutrition claim must be phased out or removed from the market before 19 January 2022.

Food businesses must be aware that nutrition and health claims permitted on foods are currently classed as a devolved matter for the UK and there may be Guidance for England, Scotland and Wales which should also be consulted. For Northern Ireland, EU legislation is still currently applied and in force, therefore EU Guidance and Legislation should be followed accordingly.

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