Lidl – putting your ethics where your mouth is.
Discount supermarket chain, Lidl, are removing sweets from their checkout points as part of a move to help their customers become more healthy.
“Healthy Checkouts” could lead the way in encouraging other retailers to take an ‘ethics over profits’ approach and improve the health of our kids… and parents.
Lidl MD, Ronny Gottschlich, explained that they were trying to help mums resist pester power by removing temptation and put healthier options there instead.
A survey by the supermarket claims that 68% of parents get pestered by their kids to buy sweets. 70% of parents polled said they’d like a sweet free checkout.
The Government has been pressurising supermarkets for a long while to adopt their Responsibility Deal, and the British Dietetic Association (who run the Children’s Food Campaign) says they will now pressurize other supermarkets to be more responsible.
The Scottish government wants to ban sweets at checkouts at all supermarkets as part of the Responsibility Deal and in response to the growing epidemic of obesity among kids. They also want to restrict price promotions that encourage bad health choices.
Their guidelines, much stricter then England and Wales, wants to see a dramatic reduction of sugar in drinks, as well as a reduction in saturated fats in chocolates, biscuits and cakes.
WHSmith have recently been criticised for encourage their consumers to buy discounted chocolates. The policy, referred to some as ‘profit over good health’, reflects badly on WHS but they are not alone, it’s also common practice at many petrol stations.
Added to that, the growing number of triple portion chocolate bars and larger packs of snacks, it seems that the government’s Responsibility Deal is a good deal away from being taken seriously by brands with the attitude of cigarette companies – putting profits before people.
Is it time that the government clamped down on advertising? With no apparent voluntary agreements being actioned, some may say that this may be the only way to protect consumers from being tempted or sold an unhealthy lifestyle.
As obesity gets worse, especially among kids, few brands are doing anything to reduce the problem. Far from it, many are encouraging it and with Easter not far away we will see millions spent on TV across Feb and March encouraging us to all indulge in chocolate.
So maybe this Easter we should be encouraging our kids to each a nice free range egg (an opportunity for Noble Food’s Happy Eggs?) rather then chocolate ones.
And if your kids can’t find the Easter bunny, tell them he’s too fat from eating chocolate to get out of his rabbit hole!