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HMRC internal manual

VAT Food

Items benefiting from the relief: what is food?: food supplements (dietary supplements): bee pollen products, royal jelly and the like

Pollen, royal jelly and propolis are not considered to be food, so nutritional supplement products composed of these substances are standard-rated, whether supplied in capsule, tablet or liquid form. However, normal food products enriched with one or other of these supplements - for example, honey enriched with royal jelly - retain their normal liability.

In Grosvenor Commodities (LON/90/1805X), the tribunal ruled that royal jelly capsules were not food. The Chairman said:- the capsules do not satisfy hunger. They do not look like food, taste like food or fill the stomach like food: and, being swallowed normally with water, are not taken like food. In my view the capsules are clearly not food.