Iceland boss breaks the law to help mums by cutting price of baby formula
27th August 2023

Iceland Boss Richard Walker isn’t happy that he’s not allowed to promote the fact that the retailer has cut the price of their baby formulas.

He’s calling for a change to the UK’s advertising laws after his chain reduced the prices of 13 branded formulas by up to 20%.

It’s part of Iceland’s wider £26 million pound investment into slashing their prices as much as possible – and they're also offering vouchers for other products.

Earlier this week Richard took to X to chat about the reductions, but admitted that he could be breaking the law by doing so: “Infant milk – this week, we have communicated about these significant price drops…which is actually illegal. We are prohibited from telling customers about price drops on infant formula. This seems archaic during a cost of living crisis?”

He went on to call for a “change in legislation” to help them communicate “price drops customers desperately need” without fear of repercussions.

He doubled down on his campaign during an appearance on Good Morning Britain.

On the show, he said: "All I want to do, in a neutral and informative way, is communicate a permanent price reduction to our customers."

He added that it was now "by far the cheapest" on the market, and explained that the laws also have "unintended consequences."

Richard explained that, because of the law, customers who only purchase baby formula are technically not allowed to use the free parking offered by the supermarket, as this counts as a promotional perk.

The law, the UK Government says, is compliant with guidelines issued by the World Health Organization.

Right now, retailers aren’t allowed to promote formula through buy-one-get-one-free deals, price cuts, samples, promotional gifts, discount coupons or any other special offers.

You also can’t use loyalty points to purchase formula.

On Good Morning Britain, Richard said he was willing to "illegally" accept all of these things, from 23 August.

"Anyone who's got any of those can come into our shops and buy formula with it," he told host Kate Garraway.

While Richard said he'll happily break the rules, others are campaigning for a change to the law.

A new campaign by and charity Feed, which has been backed by the likes of comedian Katherine Ryan, who is a mum of three herself, model Ashley James and singer Michelle Heaton, says parents are now struggling to afford to buy formula amid price rises, and these strict rules certainly aren’t making it any easier.

Over 41,000 people have signed the petitions that calls for the Government to give struggling parents more ways to pay for baby formula.

The NHS does offer vouchers to some parents via their Healthy Start Scheme, but Feed say that it just isn’t enough to cover rising prices.

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