The launch of Kellogg’s new Chocolate Corn Flakes looked like a surefire winner at the start of the year. After all, chocolate cornflake cakes have been a staple of children’s tea parties for decades. And thanks to a clever formulation cooked up by Kellanova’s food scientists, it’s also HFSS-compliant.

Trouble is, Kellogg’s has so successfully recreated the chocolate cornflake cake experience, it’s been forced to issue a recall, after consumers found hard lumps of the cereal that had formed would not break down when eaten with milk. As such, it’s been identified as a choking hazard.

These surely won’t be the last hard lumps Kellogg’s (and the food industry in general) will be facing in the next few months and years, however. With a new supermarket election poll this week showing Labour on course for a landslide victory amid overwhelming support from shoppers at every supermarket bar Waitrose, comes the prospect of a much more draconian government response to the obesity crisis.


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And shadow health secretary Wes Streeting singled out Kellogg’s Tony the Tiger as a likely casualty as he warned that a Labour government would “steamroll” a “highly manipulative” food industry into promoting healthier options at a conference in February. As he memorably put it: “You either get on board the steamroller or you’re going under it.”

How far will Streeting & co go? Industry insiders expect Henry Dimbleby’s National Food Strategy to be the policy blueprint for a cross-departmental obesity strategy, with the promise of mandatory targets and new taxes.

That’s without even considering what the government might do about the new bête noire: ultra-processed foods (UPFs). Despite the difficulty in defining what UPF means, a new report for The Grocer this week finds strongly negative sentiment towards UPFs from MPs on all sides of the House and in both its chambers. Who knows what measures a determined government with a strong majority might introduce? Yet as the report says, the industry is “missing in action” in its response. If it’s not careful it’s going to get squashed. Indiscriminately.