Holland & Barrett

Leading the charge in challenging European directives which limited the health industry’s trading abilities and consumer choice.


The Holland and Barrett (H&B) Group is the UK’s leading manufacturer and retailer of vitamins, minerals and herbal supplements. H&B’s commercial interests, and those of the whole specialist natural health products sector, have been threatened by a whole series of European directives and regulations that have greatly increased regulatory burdens, threatening the continued availability of many of the specialist products that are core to the H&B offer.

Our Strategy & Outcome

H&B asked for Whitehouse’s support in positioning the company as the most active champion of consumer rights in the UK and as a defender of the interests of the whole industry, including the independent retailers who are H&B’s competitors. Under Whitehouse’s expert advice and guidance, H&B managed to enhance its influence within trade associations both within the UK and Europe. The Whitehouse team also managed to secure a series of meetings with the most senior officials of the European Commission and built relationships with MEPs. As a direct result of the H&B lobbying efforts, supported by the Whitehouse team, H&B managed to gain regular access to high-level government meetings, while ensuring that consumer choice was protected and many specialist niche manufacturers have remained in the market.

We have benefited greatly from the strategic and tactical guidance of the Whitehouse Consultancy in achieving an acceptable regulatory regime for natural health products. Whitehouse helped demystify the political process and made sure we punched above our weight in the corridors of power in Westminster, Whitehall and Brussels.