SUGARY sweets at the checkout are being removed by Morrisons, I’m delighted to report. The supermarket chain joins Tesco and Lidl in banning sugar-filled temptations by the queues so that will make it a lot easier for everyone. Sainsbury’s have also taken sugary sweets from the checkouts at their big supermarkets but not at smaller stores.
I’ve been campaigning for a long while for retailers to stop cashing in on people’s weaknesses and to start giving both parents and those trying to lose weight an even chance. Get rid of the sugary sweets!
Now Morrisons’ chief executive David Potts says: “We’ve been listening to parents who have told us that sweets on checkouts can sometimes lead to pestering from their children. This change will make the trip through the checkout easier and less stressful.”
Sugary sweets will be phased out between now and February and the store will run trials to see what mix of products should replace them. I believe they’re looking at fruit, nuts and bottled water, which is good news for all of us who are keen on healthy eating.
I was pleased to see that Morrisons has a company nutritionist, Bryonie Hollaert, who says: ‘We’re doing what we can to help customers choose healthier foods.
‘As well as taking chocolate away from checkouts, we are also removing sugar and salt from other food and drink products. Last year alone we removed nearly one billion calories and over 38 million teaspoons of sugar from our soft drinks.”
That’s one heck of a lot of sugar – which has no nutritional value for your body and is one of the things we could all do without and still survive perfectly happily.
Like me, Dr Jason Horsley, of the University of Sheffield, has taken a keen interest in the impact of putting sugary sweets and similar products on checkouts.
“It’s an area which all shoppers must pass through, so displays of highly desirable calorie-dense foodstuffs are an unavoidable exposure,” he says.
“Children are a significant market for retailers of processed foodstuffs and budgets dedicated to advertising to children have grown exponentially in the last three decades.
‘Youngsters are often naïve to sophisticated marketing techniques and they influence parents’ purchases through pester power.
“We know from other research that children have pester power to change their parents purchasing. They will see something, want it and have a tantrum if they don’t get. It depends how brave the parent is as to whether they buy it or not.”
Now we’ve just got to get Asda and Aldi to follow suit and remove the sugary sweets and life will become not only easier for shoppers – but healthier.