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Data shows supermarket interventions are making shopping baskets healthier

Data published today in a report by UK supermarket giant Tesco has shown progress towards its healthy diets strategy, developed in partnership with the British Nutrition Foundation. Changes include the removal of HFSS multibuy promotion and the rollout of signposting for healthier products and product reformulation. Tesco says these positive moves have yielded clear results by helping customers make healthier choices, while still accessing great value. The comments come a year on from the introduction of legislative changes for HFSS products (those that are high in fat, sugar and salt), with new data from Tesco showing an increase in healthy purchases by customers across several categories. Tesco chief commercial officer, Ashwin Prasad, said: “The UK has record levels of obesity which is having a huge impact on the NHS and our wider economy, as well as jeopardising the long-term health and prospects of the next generation. At Tesco we have seen what’s possible when we create the conditions and incentives to help people to fill their baskets with products that are healthier and more sustainable, but still affordable. I’m encouraged by the progress so far and look forward to even greater collaboration with our suppliers and partners as we work towards our 2025 goal." The report outlines the steps Tesco is taking to ensure shoppers can choose healthy sustainable and affordable food. The supermarket has reported that over half a million customers’ shopping baskets at Tesco have become healthier since 2021, while 3.3 million people have purchased at least 10% more healthy products in 2022 compared to 2021. It also states that a wide-ranging reformulation programme has removed 71 billion calories from its own-brand products, with Tesco challenging its suppliers to follow suit and set clear reformulation targets. The company’s Better Baskets zones in store – which place products that are higher in fibre, lower in sugar and calories, or produced in a way that’s better for the planet together – have driven a 12% increase in year-on-year sales volumes for Better Baskets products. In the past year, Tesco has reported sales volumes of low- and no-sugar drinks to have grown 11%, sales of healthy snacking crisps have grown by more than half, and sales volumes of new and reformulated healthier biscuits have risen 8%. The company has also announced that over 500,000 more shoppers’ baskets are now made up of at least 65% healthy products. Elaine Hindal, CEO of the British Nutrition Federation, commented: "The pace and scale of the changes required to our food environment call for close collaboration and shared responsibility and it is only by working together that we can balance the needs of a contemporary food system, with better access to a healthy and sustainable diet for all. I am proud to be partnering with Tesco, as this represents exactly the collaboration and shared sense of responsibility I believe we need to deliver meaningful change with genuine impact to the UK food environment.”

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