Tesco removes confectionery from all checkouts
The UK's Public Health Minister Jane Ellison has welcomed Tesco's move to help shoppers make healthier choices
5 January 2015
From 1 January, sweets and chocolates have not been sold at the checkout of any Tesco in the Republic of Ireland or the UK.
Tesco Ireland previously announced plans last May to remove sweets and chocolates from all checkouts across the Republic of Ireland. The retailer said the change would be fully implemented by the end of 2014 across all 146 stores in an initiative “to support a healthier Ireland”. The group claimed it was the “only retailer in Ireland to commit to having all checkouts sweet-free”.
The supermarket giant has now implemented the move right across the UK. Tesco removed sweets and chocolates from the checkouts at larger stores in 1994, but for the first time they have been removed from checkouts at all stores, including Tesco Metro and Express convenience stores, which number around 2,000 across England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
The move, to help customers lead healthier lives and reduce ‘pester power’, comes as new research based on ClubCard data from Tesco reveals that families with young children have on average the least healthy shopping baskets. In contrast pensioners and older adults are on average the healthiest shoppers, according to the research.
David Wood, managing director of Health and Wellness for Tesco said: “The response we’ve had from parents has been overwhelmingly positive, so it’ll be interesting to see if other supermarkets follow our lead and do the same thing.”
Sweets and chocolates have been replaced by a variety of healthier snacks including dried fruit, nuts and cereal bars. Every food item that’s on the checkout at Tesco stores will either be one of your five a day, have no ‘red’ traffic light ratings, be in calorie-controlled snack packs, or be deemed by the Department of Health to be a ‘healthier snack’. The new-look checkout areas were trialled in in several stores, and Tesco conducted focus groups with customers to find out about which products they thought worked best.
Earlier this year Tesco published research showing that nearly two-thirds (65%) of customers said removing confectionery from the checkouts would help them make healthier choices when shopping. 67% of parents also told Tesco that having no confectionery near the checkout would help them make healthier choices for their children.
UK Public Health Minister Jane Ellison described the move as “very welcome” and said it would “help people to make healthier choices, which all contributes to reducing the long-term cost to our nation of obesity and ill-health”.