Healthy choices

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Last month the Scottish government launched a consultation aimed at tackling obesity which contained a number of proposals that could have a significant impact on c-stores.

Clearly, making people overweight is not our mission, but as usual the retail sector is being cast as the engineer of social change, which is wrong.

From promotional bans on foods high in fat, salt and sugar, to restrictions on merchandising and product placement, the consultation includes proposals which have the potential to really damage small community stores such as ours.

Despite our best efforts, sales of fresh and chilled products have been hit hard since a new Aldi opened its doors just a stone’s throw away, meaning that we are now more reliant on sales of confectionery, crisps and food to go than we were before.

However, we are implementing new initiatives to help combat the obesity problem that won’t damage us in the process.

We have signed up to the Scottish Grocers Federation’s Healthy Living Programme, which has provided us with a host of support in stocking and promoting healthier products in store.

Highlighting healthy options, offering free fruit for kids, and healthy recipe ideas, are all ways in which we are working to help consumers make healthier choices.

We are also focusing on our food-to-go offer and always offer free salad with any roll or wrap, and cook two different hot vegetable options a day.

The real key to tackling the obesity crisis is offering shoppers the choice to make healthier purchases, it shouldn’t be up to us to force the change for them.

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