Co-Operative Food (and sweets)

Healthy Choices?

I recently visited my local co-op store in the village to buy some things that we needed during the week. To mine and another customers dismay we were faced with a new display of sweets and snacks at checkout. I thought the days of putting these types of goods at the checkouts where kids could pester their parents were long gone. Tesco recently announced that they were moving away from this practice as it doesnt promote healthy eating.

I decided to email co-op to see why they have decided to implement what I perceive as bad practice.

Here is my query:

I was wondering why our local store has now decided to put sweets and goods aimed clearly at children at the checkout area. Tesco recently stopped this practice as a recent report indicated that this undermined parents efforts to feed children healthy. Its bad enough small outlets not having to cover tobacco products without them positioning sweets at a childs eye level. I was wondering if this policy of doing this is being driven nationwide or if this is an individual store policy. If this is individual store policy then is there any advice being given from higher in the organisation? I look forward to your reply.

Here is their reply:

Thank you for your email regarding confectionery at the checkouts in Co-operative stores.

We would like to assure you that we at the Co-operative Group are acutely aware of the current health challenges surrounding the UK population and are engaged with both government and NGO bodies to support the UK health agenda.

However, following a review of the convenience market and engagement with our operational colleagues and key suppliers, we believe there is a demand from our customers to be offered snacking solutions in this convenient location; we have therefore decided to trial confectionery at the Kiosk to understand if this is what our customers want.

When analysing the results of the trial we will place great emphasis on the consumer feedback received throughout and would like to thank you for taking the time to contact us.

2 thoughts on “Co-Operative Food (and sweets)”

  1. I had exactly the same response from the Co-op and have ceased being a customer after more than 40 years..We have Lidl and Tesco in town and neither have sweets at the checkout. I despair – The new man, Richard Pennycook goes on about ethics and surveys say clearly that customers don’t want sweets at checkouts, the government has given up trying to get a consensus and we have an obesity epidemic. Goodbye Co-op…

  2. I too despair. I have supported the Co-operative through difficult times and would expect to see them be a market leader in removing sweets and similar products from the checkout areas. Both Lidl and Aldi have addressed the issue and now only have healthy snacks at the checkout, such as fruit, nuts, oatcakes etc.

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