FSSAI regulation for fast food ads near schools likely to move brands to digital campaigns

Experts say the draft regulation by Food Safety & Standards Authority of India urging fast food brands to abstain from advertising near schools will lead to a shift from OOH to social media campaigns

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Nov 20, 2019 9:44 AM


Fast food

In a bid to keep children away from junk food, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) recently issued a draft regulation urging fast food brands to abstain from advertising within 50 meters of schools. While the move is in line with imparting healthy eating habits among school kids, this is most likely to spur changes in the advertising strategy among fast food brands.

The FSSAI draft notification says: “School Authority shall ensure that no person shall offer or expose for sale of pre-packaged foods which are referred to as foods high in fat, salt and sugar as per the Food Safety and Standards (Labeling and display) Regulations, 2019 to school children in school canteens/ mess premises/ hostel kitchens or within 50 meters of the school campus.”

For fast food brands, close to 20 to 25 per cent of their total OOH property is placed in front of schools, colleges and other places that are frequented by youngsters aged between 7 and 21.

Now, as per the FSSAI notification applicable for school campuses, the fast food players will stick to OOH outside colleges and other institutions but move the entire chunk of OOH from outside schools to social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

Most of the brands have now decided to take their campaigns online.

“It is outside the schools where we reach our most important clientele - the youngsters. But then we cannot go against FSSAI, so we will take all campaign online on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok and others. These platforms are already important for us but with FSSAI’s order this will become even more vital as they will be the only places where we can grab our Target Group’s maximum attention,” said the founder of a leading milkshake chain on the condition of anonymity.

Charanjeet Singh Arora, CEO, Kinetic India, says, “Since FSSAI has proposed to restrict the sale and advertisement of food products in school premises and within 50 meters of the school campus, brands can now try to invest on bus shelters or on the way to schools to grab the attention of the target audience.”

It remains to be now seen what innovations and strategy changes emerge from the players in this sector.

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