Retail roundup: Tesco puts health at forefront of new four-year strategy

Produce Business reports

UK retailer Tesco is launching a major initiative to help shoppers eat more healthy by increasing the range of fresh products in store, boosting their promotions and making them more affordable.

Tesco says its “reformulation” plans taking place between now and 2025 will heavily focus on plant-based items, making plant protein more readily available.

For the past 18 month, the company said it has been studying how to make customer baskets more healthy by surveying shoppers and leaning on charity partners and other stakeholders.

“Customers are telling us they want to eat a more healthy, sustainable diet, but without having to stretch the weekly shopping budget,” Tesco Group CEO Ken Murphy said: “By making even very small changes to the items they put in their basket week in week out, we can help them make that change. We’re proud of our track record, and it’s clear we can do more.”

As part of the four-year plan, Tesco plans to:

  • Have healthy food be 65% of total overall sales by 2025 (up from 58%).
  • Boost the sales of plant-based meat alternatives by 300%.
  • Increase its range of prepared meals that have at least one of the recommended five fruits or vegetables a day to 66%.
  • Commit to eliminating billions more calories and thousands of tonnes of salt, fat and sugar from its products without affecting their taste, including those ready-made meals.

Tesco received huge support from a large number of industry influencers.

Anna Taylor, Executive Director at The Food Foundation said: “Tesco should be proud of the speed at which they have added more veg to the ready meal category as part of their commitment to Peas Please. I hope other retailers are taking note! Shoppers really need supermarkets to make it easier for them to eat healthily and sustainably.”

James Toop, CEO of Bite Back 2030, said: “It is impressive to see Tesco committing to measures that will improve the health of both people and the planet. The pledge to increase sales of healthy products will mean making those options more affordable and attractive to children as well as adults. We all have an opportunity now to put food at the heart of the UK’s recovery by ensuring good nutrition is an option for every family in the UK.”

Prof Judy Buttriss of British Nutrition Foundation said: “It is essential that supermarkets play their part in helping customers select a healthy and sustainable diet that provides the nutrients we all need. These new commitments are aligned with the nation’s need to eat more vegetables, fruits, grains and also pulses such as beans and lentils, as well as cut back on calories, saturated fat, salt, and added sugar.”

Waitrose unveils customer fulfilment centre: A new ‘dark store’ from Waitrose has opened in Greenford, West London that will ensure 25,000 orders from its website are devliered to those shopping from home. The third Customer Fulfilment Centre will be able to handle five times more online slots each week inside London than at this time last year. 

More than 1.2 million products will be collected and sent out in 150 new vans. That combines with sites already in Enfield and Coulsdon that handle similar deliveries. 

Waitrose says that according a poll done in combination with its annual Waitrose Food & Drink Report, a quarter of UK adults bought food online for the first time last year with more than 75% now doing some grocery shopping online.

“ now accounts for a fifth of our total business, compared to 6% a year ago,” said Laura Burbedge, Director: “Despite this huge growth, we know there are still more people who would like to shop online with us, so this new centre is a significant step in our future plans.”

Waitrose is also partnering with FareShare, which will collect any leftover food for distribution to those in need.

Nisa reaches £100K in donations: Nisa retailers announced they have collected more than £100,000 for local charities, thanks to 1,000 MADL tins at its local stores across the UK. “Despite customers generally moving towards using contactless payments for their shopping during the pandemic, income from collecting tins has remained the same as shoppers look to donate any spare change while doing their bit for a good cause during difficult times,” Kate Carroll, Nisa’s Head of Charity, said.



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