TESCO ANNOUNCED that it will become the first retailer in the UK to remove sweets and chocolates from checkouts across all stores following new research which found nearly two-thirds (65%) of customers said removing confectionery from checkouts would help them make healthier choices when shopping.
In the survey, 67% of parents told Tesco that having no confectionery near the checkout would help them make healthier choices for their children.
Tesco removed sweets and chocolates from checkouts at larger Tesco stores 20 years ago, but this will be the first time they are removed from checkouts at all stores, including Tesco Metro and Express convenience stores.
Tesco Chief Executive Philip Clarke said: "We all know how easy it is to be tempted by sugary snacks at the checkout, and we want to help our customers lead healthier lives.
"We've already removed billions of calories from our soft drinks, sandwiches and ready meal ranges by changing the recipes to reduce their sugar, salt and fat content. And we will continue to look for opportunities to take out more. The retailer has committed to remove all sweets and chocolates by the end of December 2014.
"We're doing this now because our customers have told us that removing sweets and chocolates from checkouts will help them make healthier choices."
Katie O'Donovan from Mumsnet said: "Popping into a shop with a small child in tow can sometimes feel like navigating an assault course. If you've made it to the checkout in one piece it can be really frustrating to then be faced with an unhealthy array of sweets designed to tempt your child. It's really positive to see a supermarket responding to the views of their customers and trying to make life that little bit easier."
Tesco was the first UK supermarket to remove sweets and chocolates from large stores, in 1994 and last year the supermarkets giant set out its ambition to use its scale for good, which included a commitment to help customers make healthier choices.
Tesco will be trialling a variety of healthier products at checkouts before implementing the full change across all stores at the end of the year.