Retailers slammed for pushing unhealthy food

Britain’s major retailers have been criticised for doing too little to promote fresh fruit and vegetables by the National Consumer Council.

Research into more than 2000 price promotions in June this year found the top supermarkets averaged less than one food offer in five on fresh produce – well short of the NCC’s 3% target.

They spent far more effort promoting unhealthy fatty and sugary foods, the NCC said.

The worst performer, Somerfield, made only 7% of its food offers on produce, while market leader Tesco performed little better on 17%.

NCC Chief Executive, Ed Mayo, said: “There is a sea change underway that is good news for consumers as supermarkets start to compete on health.

“But we’re dismayed that the biggest supermarket – Tesco – is a laggard on health.”

The retailer struck back, though accusing the NCC of publishing inaccurate six month-old data.

Group corporate affairs director Lucy Neville-Rolfe said: “It does not paint an accurate picture of where we are now.”

The Co-op topped a ranking of stores’ responsibility on health matters, for reducing salt content in food and improving the labelling on packs.

Marks & Spencer and Waitrose were equal second, with Morrisons coming last overall.

See more