Which? Calls for Supermarkets to Put More Healthy Foods on Special Offer

August 2nd, 2016
Which? Calls for Supermarkets to Put More Healthy Foods on Special Offer

According to consumer group Which?, supermarkets should be concentrating their special offers on healthy food items to help win the fight against obesity.

77,165 special offers across the UK’s major supermarkets were analysed and it was found that 53% were placed on the less healthy food products. Which? said that fruit and vegetables were less likely to be sold as part of a promotion than confectionery.

The supermarkets surveyed were Asda, Waitrose, Morrisons, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Ocado and the analysis took place between the months of April and June. The study counted less healthy products as any food or drink item that had a red traffic light label for sugars, salt, fat or saturates (unless the item scored red for fat but green for saturated fat). Unprocessed, fresh fruit and vegetables were automatically classed as healthier.

It was found that compared to 34% of vegetables and 30% of fresh fruit, 52% of confectionery was on special offer. The results also suggested that 69% of soft drinks that are classed as high in sugar were on promotion.

Director of Which? campaigns and policy, Alex Neill, said that everyone must play a part in the battle against obesity and many people would like supermarkets to place more special offers on healthier food items, yet the research suggested the opposite. He said supermarkets need to tilt the balance of items they include in their promotions and that all retailers should remove the temptation of sweets from the checkouts.

The British Retail Consortium’s director of food and sustainability policy, Andrew Opie, said that supermarkets provide good value in all of their products and choosing a balanced diet has never been easier or more affordable.

Supermarkets have suggested that as there is a fairly even mixture of promotions across each food type, it doesn’t necessarily mean that people would choose to buy unhealthy food based on price promotions.

Food commercial director at Sainsbury’s, Paul Mills-Hicks, said that the supermarket has been working hard since 2014 to take promotions away and put more money into regular lower prices. He said that this has made hundreds of fresh, healthy products affordable and as a result, their sales of fresh produce are growing.

Mr Mills-Hicks also said that Sainsbury’s have taken the huge step of calling on the industry to get rid of multi-buys. The supermarket believes will decrease household waste and promote healthier eating.

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