Lidl GB recently announced a new commitment to healthy food called the Healthy Eating Pledge, which Christian Hartnagel, its CEO, says is the company’s most ambitious goal yet. The initiative aims to encourage healthy diets and increase sales of food products to 85% or more of total sales by 2025, based on tonnage size.
Lidl’s professional nutrition teams have developed a Nutrient Profiling System (NPS) to measure the health of foods. The NPS is based on Public Health England’s Nutrient Standards for light labeling on the front of the package, which focuses on fat, saturated fat, sugar and salt intake, and classifies all products as healthy, wholesome or least healthy.
Nutrition teams also review more than 200 lines annually with potential for improvement to meet health or hygiene standards. Furthermore, Lidl says it will work with suppliers to enhance its nutritional products.
This commitment follows Lidl’s investment in a separate “Get Fresh” initiative. This aims to offer more healthy options by increasing the range of fresh, healthy products available to customers in the store. To make this increase in fresh food options possible, stores have been upgraded with energy-efficient coolers that can store more than 100 products on the shelves. In addition, to make customers tend to buy these items, Lidl will prioritize placing fresh and healthy produce in a prominent place at the front of the store.
The Healthy Eating Pledge is our most ambitious healthy eating goal to date, and it’s focused on helping families make healthy choices when they shop with us, without compromising on price.
Rebecca Toby, Peas Please project manager at the Food Foundation said:
Ahead of the release of the National Food Strategy later this week, it’s great to see Lidl make such strong commitments to increase sales of healthy foods, particularly an ambitious 35 percent increase in fruit and vegetable sales.
Past commitments and steps Lidl has taken to promote healthy eating, particularly among children, have included removing cartoon characters from its brand’s cereal packages. (It reduces the strength of the ether.) In addition, Lidl became the first supermarket in Britain to remove chocolate and sweets from checkout operations across the country in 2014.
Commitments like this can really help with the world’s growing obesity problem. Many supermarkets tend to tempt their customers to buy unhealthy foods. In response to government advice, health professionals and charities said these stores should do more to treat obesity, not cause it.
According to a recent report by the Royal Society of Public Health (RSPH) on the marketing tactics of supermarkets, more than one in three people push to buy unhealthy foods because they are on specials. And with the average Brit making 221 trips to the supermarket a year, there are plenty of opportunities to be drawn into buying unhealthy food!
Shirley Kramer, CEO of RSPH, said:
The environment in which we live is a major contributor to obesity, and supermarkets have the power and influence, as well as the responsibility, to address their contribution to this ‘obesogenic’ environment.
There has been some progress by supermarkets in areas such as removing fast food from the checkout, but our research shows that shoppers and industry experts feel there is a lot more supermarkets can and should do to promote healthier choices.
According to the Obesity Health Alliance, about 43% of foods and drinks placed in prominent areas of popular supermarkets contain sugary substances. On top of that, they put the basics, like milk and eggs, at the back of the store, so you have to pass a lot of offers and deals on your way to get them. So it stands to reason that one in five adults in the UK feels supermarkets derail them when they are trying to lose weight.
Research has shown that moving snacks away from the go-out reduces their purchase by 17%. It’s good that Lidl fixed this problem many years ago! Hopefully, their new ideas about the healthy eating pledge will be just as effective or more. Together, every small change can make a big difference in making it easier for people to be healthy.