A new Welsh government initiative to combat obesity may ban meal packages and multi-buy deals.
Ministers have been warned in writing by the Welsh Retail Consortium that this could harm food producers, limit their options, and raise food prices.
The legislation aims to promote better nutrition, lessen health disparities, and prevent early death.
The Welsh government claimed to have held extensive consultations with business leaders.
Meal deals were suggested to be exempt from the ban in the proposal, but the Welsh government stated that no concrete plans have yet been made in response to the consultation's closure.
The bans under consideration in the initial consultation document are:.
- Short-term price cuts.
- offers for multiple purchases in which a discount is provided if a specific quantity is bought.
- "Meal deal" and volume discounts, where buying multiple items results in a lower price.
Similar bans have been proposed and approved in England.
Members could support some of the proposals, such as multi-buy bans, according to Sara Jones, the consortium's head, who spoke to BBC Radio Wales Breakfast.
We do recognize the genuine significance of the government's efforts to combat obesity and promote public health, she said.
However, she claimed that in contrast to the health advantages, banning meal deals and seasonal promotions would have a "disproportionate" effect on producers.
People like me, a working mother of two, are seeking a quick lunch option.
Because of those choices, she explained, "I'm not going to overconsume, and by banning those it will only lead to restrictions in terms of availability and affordability in terms of the consumer.".
According to her, promotions help keep prices low by allowing retailers to compete with one another for customers.
It would be regressive and irresponsible to raise costs in this way when there is currently no proof that doing so would significantly improve public health, especially given that inflation is at an 18-year high. ".
The Welsh government must make sure that any policy does not drive up the price of food for Wales' citizens at a time when many families are struggling to make ends meet, according to David Thomson of the Food and Drink Federation Cymru.
Additionally, it is crucial that Welsh food and drink producers compete on an even playing field with their rivals in other UK regions. ".
The proposed regulations, according to James Lowman, chief executive of the Association of Convenience Stores, are "necessarily inconsistent" with those already established in England.
According to him, this would "increase the pressure on retailers to redesign store layouts from scratch at a cost of thousands of pounds.".
The proposals, according to a spokesperson for the Welsh government, are intended to support long-term health and wellbeing.
"We have consulted widely and been talking about these with industry representatives. We are thinking about where to place price promotions going forward.
"We will carefully consider the cost of living crisis in our decision-making, as well as the significant negative effects that obesity has on people's health.
"Any specific actions will be planned to encourage a healthier diet, lessen health disparities, and preventable deaths.