safefood welcome Tesco Ireland announcement

Thursday 22 May, 2014. Following safefoods call to all supermarkets earlier this year for ‘sweet-free’ checkouts, safefood welcome the announcement by Tesco Ireland that all their store checkouts will be sweet-free by the end of 2014. This represents a positive step in helping consumers, especially those shopping with children, to make healthier choices.

Martin Higgins, Chief Executive, safefood said “This move by Tesco echoes the very practical messages we have been advocating in our childhood obesity campaign and is a powerful recognition of how ‘pester power’ and impulse-buying affect the food choices we make every day. We approached the CEOs of the leading food retailers earlier this year and asked them to support the many customers who are trying to make healthy choices when shopping. We hope more retailers will follow this significant initiative by Tesco, which we welcome.”

Dr Cliodhna Foley-Nolan, Director, Human Health and Nutrition, safefood added

There’s a public readiness for this welcome step and our own research¹ found that 73% of people believe that having sweets and treats at checkouts contributes to obesity. Initiatives like this by Tesco are steps that only retailers themselves can carry out and have the potential to influence the food environment in a positive way.”

- Ends -

For further information please contact

WHPR: Muireann Kirby 01 6690142 / 086 3710000

safefood: Dermot Moriarty 01 448 0622 / 086 381 1034


¹Safetrak – safefood/ Millward Brown Lansdowne (November 2013) Survey of 500 adults in the Republic of Ireland

Results included:

  • Almost half of shoppers (47%) in the survey find junk food (e.g. sweets, crisps, chocolate) at shop checkouts hard to resist
  • 32% of shoppers regularly buy junk food on impulse while waiting at the checkout
  • Almost three quarters of those surveyed (73%) believe having junk food at shop checkouts contributes to obesity
  • 29% of Irish shoppers would be more likely to shop at places where junk food at checkouts is banned