Retail giant Tesco has become the first major retailer in the UK to remove chocolate and sweets from its checkouts across its full range of stores, including the smaller metro and express stores.
The decision was made after customer research found that nearly two-thirds (65%) of shoppers said removing confectionery from checkouts would help them make healthier choices when buying their food shop.
The news comes not long after campaigners began to wage war on the amount of sugar we consume as a nation, amid fears for our health and childhood obesity.
Labelled the ‘new tobacco’, in January campaign group Action on Sugar were formed to tackle the amount of sugar we consume in our daily diets. With news since of a proposed tax on sugar, the supermarkets have been encouraged to follow suit buy removing tempting treats from so called ‘guilt aisles’.
Tesco was the first UK supermarket to remove sweets and chocolates from checkouts in its large stores 20 years ago, and it seems the other larger supermarkets will now be feeling the pressure to follow suit, with Lidl announced it was removing junk food from checkouts in January.
Tesco Chief Executive Philip Clarke said: ‘We all know how easy it is to be tempted by sugary snacks at the checkout, and we want to help our customers lead healthier lives.
‘We’ve already removed billions of calories from our soft drinks, sandwiches and ready meal ranges by changing the recipes to reduce their sugar, salt and fat content. And we will continue to look for opportunities to take out more.’
Tesco will be trialing a variety of healthier products at checkouts before beginning the full change across all stores at the end of the year.
Do you think this is a positive step towards tackling the UK’s obesity problem, or have the supermarkets taken things too far? Let us know in the comments box below.
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