Campaigners pressure stores to remove junk food from tills

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The Children’s Food Campaign is calling for all retailers to follow in the footsteps of Lidl, the first supermarket to remove unhealthy snacks from checkouts.

lidl

Lidl is the first supermarket chain to remove junk food from its checkouts

Lidl announced today the national roll-out of its Healthy Checkouts initiative, which will see sweets and chocolates removed from the checkouts of its 600 stores in England, Scotland and Wales, and replaced with more ‘nutritious options’.

The products Lidl will be stocking on its Healthy Checkouts are nuts and dried fruit, oatcakes, ‘funsize’ bananas, apples and pears, multivitamin juice and sparkling water.

The move follows the launch of the ‘Junk free checkouts’ campaign last year, which ‘names and shames’ supermarkets that sell junk food at checkouts and queuing aisles, and presses the case for change.

Malcolm Clark, co-ordinator of the Children’s Food Campaign, one of the organisations behind ‘Junk free checkouts’, congratulated Lidl for making the move, but said more needs to be done to encourage other supermarkets and retailers to follow suit.

Mr Clark told Nursery World that they (Children’s Food Campaign) want to see the Department of Health (DoH) shift the focus of the Public Health Responsibility Deals' pledges on food from supermarkets to all retailers.

Organisations that sign up to the DoH’s Responsibility Deal voluntarily commit to follow a number of pledges covering alcohol, food, health at work and physical activity, designed to improve public health.

‘We are asking the Department of Health to open up the pledge outside of the usual suspects. Up until now, we have focused our attention on supermarkets that sell sweets and chocolates at their checkouts and queuing areas, but there are other stores that promote unhealthy foods at their tills’, said Mr Clark, adding that 'WHsmith and Boots' are among the worst offenders.

The Children’s Food Campaign is also campaigning for the next pledge on food, thought to be introduced in the spring, to say that retailers must remove unhealthy foods from checkouts.