Candy prohibition: Aldi bans confectionery at UK checkouts

Aldi joins Lidl, Tesco, Co-op and Sainsbury’s in UK confectionery free till pledge

Aldi has become the latest UK supermarket to ditch checkout confectionery in favor of healthier items.

It follows similar moves from Lidl, Tesco, Co-op and Sainsbury’s.

Aldi boss: Healthier tills more popular than candy ones          

Aldi had trialled healthier tills, stocking dried fruit, nuts, juices and water, for 16 weeks at selected stores from February to June this year.

“It quickly showed that healthier foods prove more popular with our shoppers than the traditional checkout offer of confectionery and sweets,” said Giles Hurley, joint managing director of corporate buying at Aldi.

Ofcom’s health criteria

From January 2015, only non-confectionery products that meet the Office of Communications (Ofcom’s) health criteria will be sold in Aldi’s checkout zone.

Unhealthy foods under Ofcom’s Nutrient Profiling Model (available here) include confectionery, potato chips including low-fat versions and cookies.

Healthy foods include takeaway salads with no dressing or croutons, fresh fruits and most nuts.

Traffic light provisos

Aldi will only stock foods at checkouts scoring red or amber on front of pack traffic light labelling if nutrients are naturally occurring. But products with more than one red light will not be displayed.

Aldi is signed up to the UK’s voluntary front-of-pack traffic light labeling. The system was adopted by Mars and Nestlé but rejected by Mondelēz. The European Commission is investigating whether the UK system is incompatible with EU law.

Products at Aldi checkouts must also meet the UK government’s Responsibility Deal salt targets.

Aldi told us its private label chewing gum (6 pack) and Wrigley Extra Chewing Gum will remain at the tills. Sugar free gum from Wrigley  survived an earlier confectionery checkout purge at Lidl.

Most major UK supermarkets have now removed confectionery from their tills. Marks & Spencer, Asda and Morrisons are the only big supermarkets still to stock confectionery at cash counters. However, Sainsbury’s still sells confectionery at cash registers in its smaller stores.

Pressure from health bodies

The UK confectionery cull followed ‘a Junk Free Checkouts‘ campaign, led by the British Dietetic Association’s and the Children’s Food Campaign.

Retailers in other regions are coming under pressure to remove confectionery from checkout zones. The Center for Science in the Public Interest recently launched a campaign calling on US retailers to remove candy at cash counters.

In New Zealand, a study of 2,271 Kiwi consumers by HorizonPoll found that 34.1% believed supermarkets should remove confectionery and sugary goods from all checkout lanes. 17.7% disagreed, but the majority was indifferent.

Obesity and the death of checkouts

A 2012 article in the New England Journal of Medicine said that candy near cash registers created an obesity risk and should be banned.

But it could all soon be a moot point. Dan O’ Connor, president and CEO of insight and advisory firm RetailNet Group recently said that emerging technology could spell the death of the checkout as we know it.

He said the payment areas for increasingly-used scan & go technology were merchandise free and further advances in technology could even eliminate the need for such areas. 

Related News

Tesco brings in the new year with a outright ban on confectionery at checkouts

Tesco extends candy checkout ban to C-stores

'...Parents and guardians who have told us that sweets on checkouts can sometimes lead to pestering from their children,' says UK supermarket Morrisons

UK candy cull: Confectionery gets the boot at Morrisons checkouts

CVS says it wants to help shoppers 'choose a healthier bite'. Photo: CVS

CVS to swap candy at checkouts with better-for-you snacks

Scenes of the past: Will confectioners be able to counter fewer checkout lanes? Photo Credit: nateOne

For whom the till tolls: Could impulse candy buys flatline as checkouts phase out?

Sweet free checkouts gain support in New Zealand. Photo credit: CSPI

Confectionery-free checkouts register with NZ consumers

CSPI raps US retailers for candy at checkouts. Photo Credit: CSPI

US retailers pressed to remove candy from checkout zones

Chocolate and sweets exiled but Wrigley's gum survives Lidl checkout cull. Photo credit: The Consumerist

Candy cast out: Lidl goes confectionery-free at UK checkouts

Does placing candy near sales counters create an obseity risk? Photo credit: Flickr - The Consumerist

Ban candy at cash counters, say researchers

32% of Irish consumers say they would be more likely to shop at stores where junk food at checkouts is banned

Irish NGO calls for sweet-free checkouts

Comments (2)

David - 02 Sep 2014 | 07:32

Do supermarkets influence customer intentions

"It is not the role of supermarkets to influencing purchasing intentions at the check out", how naïve! Supermarkets influence our intentions from the moment we enter the car park to when we leave!

02-Sep-2014 at 19:32 GMT

Mike 19 - 29 Aug 2014 | 04:06

Candy Free Check Outs

It is not the role of supermarkets to influencing purchasing intentions at the check out.....the consumer must be able to decide his or her intentions!

29-Aug-2014 at 04:06 GMT

Submit a comment

Your comment has been saved

Post a comment

Please note that any information that you supply is protected by our Privacy and Cookie Policy. Access to all documents and request for further information are available to all users at no costs, In order to provide you with this free service, William Reed Business Media SAS does share your information with companies that have content on this site. When you access a document or request further information from this site, your information maybe shared with the owners of that document or information.