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Major breakthrough for Junk Free Checkouts campaign

Responding to Lidl’s announcement that it will remove all unhealthy items from its checkouts, Malcolm Clark, co-ordinator of the Children’s Food Campaign, said:

“Last year we launched the Junk Free Checkouts campaign to challenge supermarkets to act on long-running customer concern and permanently remove unhealthy snacks from all of their checkouts and queuing areas. We congratulate Lidl for being the first to make this move. This is a great way to celebrate National Obesity Awareness Week too.”

“Lidl has now set the gold standard: implementing a junk-free policy across all of its tills, in all of its stores, and with no seasonal exceptions for Christmas or Easter confectionery. Lidl has also applied a nutritional model to select the snacks (mainly fresh fruit, dried fruit and nut mixes and bottled water) they will allow to be sold by the till.”

“The onus is now on other supermarkets and retailers to follow suit. We and the British Dietetic Association will keep up the pressure for them to do so.  Shoppers can continue to get involved by using our online campaign action to write to supermarket head offices to tell them to introduce junk free checkouts.”

“Every little helps, but a significant dent on obesity levels is unlikely to happen until the government ensures all companies are changing their marketing habits, and faster and further than they would otherwise have done. We are not yet convinced that the Department of Health’s forthcoming Responsibility Deal food promotion pledge will be robust enough to achieve this.”