Tesco is removing candy from checkouts in all its stores.
The U.K. food retailer took sweets away from the checkout in larger stores in 1994, but the policy now applies to every store, including Tesco Metro and Express convenience stores, which number more than 2,000 across England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
The company made the decision in an attempt to reduce “pester power” and promote healthier lifestyles. The move is part of Tesco’s ongoing attempt to help customers make better choices when it comes to food, and the company’s research shows that 65 percent of its customers say removing sweets from checkout helps.
“As the U.K.’s largest food retailer, we have a responsibility to make it easier for our customers to lead healthier lifestyles,” says David Wood, managing director of health and wellness, Tesco.
Tesco’s ClubCard data shows that families with young children have the least healthy shopping habits. By replacing candy with items that have no “red” traffic light ratings, come in calorie-controlled snack packs or have the “healthier snack” label from the Department of Health, Tesco hopes to provide a new range of options for children to ask for a the checkout.
“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,” says Wood. “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.”.
Tesco’s efforts focus on putting more nutritious selections on its shelves and improving children’s relationship with food.
"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,” says Jane Ellison, Public Health Minister. "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."