Tesco’s sugary drinks ban…responsible or misguided?

Tesco's revenues are up across the board

Tesco has announced it will cease to sell chlidren's drinks with added sugar, causing a mixed reaction in the industry and online.



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31 July 2015

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We were a bit perplexed this week at Tesco UK’s announcement that it would cease selling drinks marketed towards children such as Ribena and Capri-Sun. The company announced that sugary drinks designed for children’s school lunchboxes would be phased out, prompting criticism from some quarters.

In the firing line are pouches and cartons of high-sugar Ribena, Capri-Sun and Rubicon drinks that are often marketed as “fun”, “perfect for on the go” and claim to contain a daily dose of vitamin C.

Sugary drinks and the wider fight against childhood obesity is a hot topic in the UK and elsewhere currently; the campaign group Action on Sugar reports that one in four children in the UK are overweight or obese. Research shows that one 33cl pouch of Capri-Sun contains nearly double the daily recommended amount of sugar for four-to-six-year olds, an amount also far higher than the recommended amount for the seven-to-10 age group.

“Juice should be an occasional treat, not an everyday drink,” Kawther Hashem of Action on Sugar told The Guardian. “These processed drinks are laden with sugar and calories and do not have the nutritional value of fresh fruit.

“We are delighted Tesco are taking the issue of sugary drinks seriously, and we would like to see the other retailers also take on this challenge right away,” Kashem added.

Some commenters have criticised Tesco’s move though, accusing the retailer of hypocrisy given there are so many other unhealthy products on its shelves.

In a statement, Tesco said, “we want to help our customers make healthier choices and that’s why we have pledged to continue to cut sugar from the food and drink on our shelves. From September all the children’s juice drinks we sell will have no added sugar; we know this will make a positive difference to children’s health.”




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