Asda, Morrisons and Iceland named and shamed for sweet displays

 

Asda, Morrisons and Iceland have been named as the "worst
offenders" for undermining parents' efforts to feed their children
healthily.

The Children's Food Campaign (CFC) said the three supermarkets displayed unhealthy food or drink at more than 80% of their checkouts.

It also criticised the Co-operative, Sainsbury's, Tesco and Waitrose for making families queue past displays of unhealthy snacks to reach the tills.

Not one "traditional format" supermarket in the survey had any healthy food options promoted at its checkouts, the report said.

The Checkouts Checked Out report found that most supermarket branches and high street stores routinely promote unhealthy snacks at their tills and in their queuing areas, despite several promising to reduce the practice.

The survey of stores across London found that, in many cases, junk food such as sweets and crisps was positioned at children's eye level.

The trend had also spread to smaller stores and non-food retailers including HMV, New Look, Superdrug and WHSmith, which all displayed sweets and chocolates in the queuing area near the checkouts, the CFC said.

A questionnaire to each of the retailers found that just one, Sainsbury's, confirmed a policy of not selling "impulse confectionery" at their main checkouts, but added that they did display "gifting confectionery or seasonal lines".

The campaign did commend the Waitrose store in Oxford Circus for its prominent display of fresh fruit in the queuing area before the tills, and called for this to be the norm across all stores.

CFC spokeswoman and co-author of the report Sophie Durham said: "Impulse purchases at the checkout can add several hundred unplanned calories to a family shopping basket.

"Supermarkets claim to be responsible retailers, yet they continue to put their profits ahead of families' health. They should stop prompting pester power and help parents by removing promotions of sugary, fatty, salty and calorie-laden snacks and drinks near the checkouts, especially those placed within easy reach of children.

"It's time to get the junk off the checkouts once and for all."

Annie Seeley, a nutritionist and co-ordinator of the Food Commission's Parents' Jury, which investigated snacks at the checkout between 2002 and 2005, said: "I am disappointed but not surprised that parents need to campaign again on this issue.

"Supermarkets seem to have reneged on their promises made after the Food Commission's investigation a decade ago and returned to the same bad old marketing habits of selling snacks high in sugar, salt and fat at their checkouts."

The CFC has launched a campaign supporting parents to lobby supermarkets to stop promoting unhealthy food to children.

It is also lobbying the Advertising Standards Authority to regulate all promotion of unhealthy food to children alongside broadcast and print advertising.

Asda said: "We thank the Children's Food Campaign for this report. We sell a wide range of products on our checkouts from batteries to bags for life."

A Waitrose spokeswoman said: "Research carried out last year with our customers told us that they would like greater visibility of our seasonal ranges.

"As a result we have introduced checkout displays which are designed to highlight some of our seasonal and new products, including food and non-food items.

"Recently featured items have included healthy products from our new 'LOVE life you count' calorie-controlled range, as well as seasonal confectionery."

A spokeswoman for the Co-operative Group said: "The sale of all products that are high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) from fixtures on checkouts and kiosks is prohibited in all our stores. Sugar-free gum/mints and medicated sweets are permitted.

"However, many of our stores are small convenience stores, which limits what we can do in terms of siting HFSS products elsewhere in store.

"Nonetheless, we are committed to avoiding direct marketing and advertising to children of HFSS products and, over a decade ago, we removed all children's characters from own-brand packaging classed as HFSS, with the exception of seasonal and special occasion products."

Andrew Opie, food director of the British Retail Consortium, added: "Retailers are doing a great deal to promote healthy eating in their stores. This includes selling healthier snacks, promoting fruit and vegetables and even reformulating products to reduce the calories and salt they contain.

"Focusing on how products are sold in one part of some stores ignores the bigger, positive picture.

"Retailers exist to offer value and convenience to their customers. There's a whole range of products to be found near check-outs, including batteries, magazines and gift cards."

Netmums founder Siobhan Freegard said: "In the last 10 years we have made so much headway in the battle against junk food with clearer on-pack labelling, Ofcom regulations on what kinds of food can be advertised to children and transparency over additives, but when it comes to the simple issues of junk food on display by the checkout we are back to where we started 10 years ago.

"Stores must stop working against mums and dads and work with us."

PA

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
News
news
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
New Articles
i100... with this review
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Sport
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
i100
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
News
Blahnik says: 'I think I understand the English more than they do themselves'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
TVInside Downton Abbey series 5
Life and Style
The term 'normcore' was given the oxygen of publicity by New York magazine during the autumn/winter shows in Paris in February
fashionWhen is a trend a non-trend? When it's Normcore, since you ask
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

Research Manager - Quantitative/Qualitative

£32000 - £42000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam