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Choc-free checkouts hit sweet spot

More than a third of Kiwis say supermarkets should quit tempting shoppers with their checkout treats.

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Supermarkets have been sent a message today about their placement of sugary treats at the checkout.

The release of a Horizon Research study has revealed 34.1 percent of New Zealanders over the age of 18 think it’s time for the strategic positioning of sweet stuff to end. However, 17.7 percent say they don’t want their last-minute impulse buys taken away.

About 422,100 nationwide (or 13.2 percent) would choose a checkout lane because it was free of confectionery, while 9.9 percent already have.

The survey was done following a decision by UK supermarket giant Tesco to get rid of confectionery from all of its counters by the end of the year.

Countdown provides a sugar-free checkout in each of its supermarkets.

Those most definite about wanting to shop at a supermarket that makes the change are those whose regular supermarket is Four Square, followed by those who shop at Countdown, Pak’n Save and New World.

We’ve been concerned for a number of years about how supermarkets position unhealthy food choices in their stores. We challenge the supermarkets here to follow Tesco’s lead in the UK and remove confectionery from its checkouts. This is a small change that could show supermarkets are concerned about the increasing rates of obesity in this country.

Check out what Consumer has to say about food marketing to kids and supermarket power and pricing.