The Welsh Government has said meal deals will not be banned as part of its recent consultation on the Healthy Food Environment.

There were concerns the popular meal deal, which can be found in most supermarkets, was due to be scrapped by the Welsh Government as part of their plan to create a healthier eating environment in Wales.

The thought meal deals may be banned caused public outrage.

One Twitter user said: “They want to ban meal deals in Wales. This is an absolute crime against humanity.”

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Another said: “It has not been the best of weeks for Welsh democracy. Banning road schemes and today banning meal deals.”

While the Welsh Conservatives, on Twitter, said: “Labour’s proposal to ban meal deals is proving them to be a tone-deaf elite, far removed from the lives of ordinary Welsh people.

“Rather than pointless bans, Labour should focus on delivering on the people's priorities.

“Once again, Labour is making a meal of it here in Wales.”

The Welsh Retail Consortium, the Association of Convenience Stores and the Food and Drink Federation Cymru also addressed issues with the findings of the Healthy Food Environment consultation.

In a letter issued to the Deputy Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing, Lynne Neagle MS, the industry bodies called for the Welsh Government to take into consideration their concerns on proposed regulations which they said would have negative consequences for Welsh producers, whilst limiting choice for consumers and increasing prices when inflation is at an eighteen year high.

They said whilst the regulations being considered were similar to recent legislation in England, there was concern with proposals for additional diverging restrictions including bans on temporary price reductions and meal deals.

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In a joint letter to the Minister, the industry bodies outlined how the proposals had the potential to increase food prices for consumers, whilst reducing availability of some products. 

James Lowman, ACS chief executive, said: “Convenience retailers are facing huge cost increases this year with energy bills, labour costs and product prices all going up.

“The proposed HFSS rules in Wales are unnecessarily inconsistent with those already agreed in England, putting additional pressure on retailers to start from scratch on store layouts at the cost of thousands of pounds.

“If the Welsh Government decides to proceed with these regulations, we urge them to exempt temporary price reductions and meal deals from the restrictions, as these help customers to save money and feed their families whilst ensuring fair competition across both Wales and England.” 

Free Press Series: Meal deals in Wales may be altered but not bannedMeal deals in Wales may be altered but not banned (Image: Canva)

Sara Jones, Head of the Welsh Retail Consortium, added: “We are particularly concerned over plans to restrict price promotions and to ban meal deals.

“Promotions within categories allow retailers and brands to compete to attract customers, improving competition and keeping prices down.

“With inflation running at a 18-year-high it would be regressive and irresponsible to put up costs in this manner with no evidence at this time that it would significantly improve public health.

“We hope Welsh Ministers will keep consumers in mind as this process continues over the coming months.”

These concerns have led the Welsh Government to issue a statement to clarify the situation and explain they were “not proposing to ban meal deals”, merely alter them.

A Welsh government spokesman, through various media outlets, said: “We are considering the next steps on price promotions and locations and no final position has been made following the pubic consultation.

“We are not proposing to ban meal deals themselves but to consider whether there should be restrictions on high fat, salt and sugar products, that may be part of a meal deal.”

The full consultation document on the Welsh Healthy Food Environment can be read here.