The industry reacted with dismay this week when it emerged it will be up to two years before any changes are made to the Food Standards Agency's flawed nutrient profiling model.
The FSA hosted a meeting with trade bodies and consumer interest groups on Tuesday to discuss its review of the model, which underpins Ofcom's restrictions on TV advertising of food to children.
At the event, the agency delivered the welcome news that an independent panel of scientists is to oversee the review to ensure impartiality.
However, far from being keen to speed up the review process in a bid to correct the anomalies exposed from using the model, the FSA said it would take its time over deciding whether any changes needed to be made.
The FSA will stage an informal six-week consultation this summer, when it will invite comments on the model. Draft proposed changes to the model will be issued afterwards.
These will be put out to a formal 12-week consultation in spring 2008. But the FSA will not consider the subsequent recommendations made by the panel until early 2009.
The news left many in the food industry frustrated. The nutrient profiling model has proved unpopular because of the way it measures all foods in a 100g portion - regardless of the quantities in which they are normally consumed.
This means many nutritious products normally eaten in much smaller amounts, such as cheese, raisins and Marmite, fall foul of the ban - a fact highlighted by The Grocer's Weigh It Up! campaign, which has been calling for Ofcom and the FSA to rethink the model urgently.
Senior food industry figures queued up this week to criticise the FSA's timetable.
One high-level source at a multiple retailer, who asked not to be named, said the FSA was moving at a "glacial pace" on the review.
Another, who also asked not to be named, said: "There are clearly some worries about the amount of time this could take.
"Two years is an awfully long time for the marketeers to wait to know whether they can advertise to children."
Dairy UK technical director Ed Komorowski, who attended the meeting, said: "It's disappointing there isn't some sort of fast-track mechanism for resolving the immediate anomalies."
An FSA spokeswoman defended the timetable. "If people want the opportunity to put forward their views about the model and they want the process to be dealt with properly and rigorously, then these things take time," she said.
The new Ofcom restrictions only came into effect on 1 April - and it had been thought that by beginning the review process little more than two months later the FSA was acknowledging the widespread discontent with the controversial system.
News of the two-year timetable appears to have put that belief to bed once and for all.
Indeed, sources who attended the meeting said there was no sign of any regret from the FSA about the furore the model had provoked.
And Ofcom, for whom the FSA created the model, said it was delighted with the way it was operating because of its simplicity.