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Sweets and chocolates removed from all checkouts from today


From today there will be no sweets and chocolates on the checkout at any Tesco in the UK.

Tesco removed sweets and chocolates from the checkouts at larger stores in 1994, but for the first time they will be 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 by 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.

Healthy Checkouts:

David Wood, Managing Director of Health and Wellness for Tesco said:
“Our customers told us that removing sweets and chocolates from checkouts would help them make healthier choices, so from today our checkouts will be sweet and chocolate-free zones.

“We hope this will make our customer’s lives easier, as taking sweets and chocolates off the checkouts will really help parents with young children. As a parent of two young children myself, I know how challenging it can be to navigate the checkouts with children in tow.

“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Sweets and chocolates have been replaced by a variety of healthier snacks including dried fruit, nuts and cereal bars.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.

Justine Roberts, Mumsnet CEO, said:

”Popping into a shop with a small child in tow can sometimes feel like navigating an assault course. If you’ve made it to the checkout in one piece it can be really frustrating to then be faced with an unhealthy array of sweets designed to tempt your child. It’s really positive to see a supermarket responding to the views of their customers and trying to make life that little bit easier.“

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.

Public Health Minister Jane Ellison said:

”This is a very welcome move by Tesco, responding to the clear demands of their customers, and raising the bar in the roll out of healthy checkouts.

“This initiative will help people to make healthier choices, which all contributes to reducing the long-term cost to our nation of obesity and ill-health.”

Notes to editors

Removing sweets and chocolates from checkouts is part of a much wider ongoing effort from Tesco to help customers live healthier lives. Tesco is:

o   Making food on the shelves healthier. Tesco has removed three billion calories from soft drink ranges, 600 million from sandwiches and 92 million from ready meals. An additional 63 million portions of fruit and veg have been added to Tesco ready meals and soups. In January 2014, Tesco launched a new Healthy Living range. The new range helps customers control the amount of salt, sugar and fats they eat, without compromising on flavour.

o   Improving children’s relationship with food. Tesco is working with farmers and suppliers to help schoolchildren understand where the food they eat comes from and help them make healthier choices. Over half a million children have so far been taken to farms, fisheries and factories to show where cows are milked, where lettuce comes from, and how fish are prepared for sale as part of the ’Eat Happy’ project.


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