Last week the Scottish government published a consultation aimed at tackling obesity. If your store isn’t in Scotland you might wonder what this has to do with you, but we’ve seen a number of policies start in Scotland then become law in Westminster – think carrier bag charging.
What’s more, some of the proposals are highly relevant to c-stores. As well as looking at restricting the sale of confectionery, crisps, snacks, soft drinks and other high-fat/salt/sugar products through bans on multibuy and price promotions, there are proposals to limit the areas of a store where those products can be sold, such as on checkouts or end of aisles.
To us, these look like blunt instruments to tackle a complex problem, and they will be particularly difficult for the smallest stores to implement where there may only be one or two aisles to sell products in.
The measures proposed could have a significant negative impact on c-stores, and that’s bad not just for retailers but for the consumers who value their local shop as one of the most positive influences on their community.
However the government decides to regulate the sale of some products in your stores, the trend towards healthy eating is a commercial opportunity for local shops.
That’s why we’ve been promoting healthier choices through Peas Please and the Healthy Start programme, two initiatives that can go a long way to demonstrating that increasing choice can be effective in improving people’s eating habits. We’ll make this case with the politicians, while you make choice available in your community.