Fresh and healthy food could be an area of significant growth for community retailers in the coming months as the government rolls out its Change 4 Life anti-obesity campaign.

The Department of Health (DoH)’s initiative, announced on January 2, aims to “kick-start a lifestyle revolution for every family” by promoting healthy eating and exercise, and is supported by convenience sector trade bodies, symbol groups and suppliers.

The project will see an extension of the pilot scheme launched in November in the North East of England, where selected c-stores have committed to displaying a wider range of fruit and vegetables prominently within their stores. In return, DoH provides funding to buy chillers and marketing materials and advises on merchandising and minimising waste.

TV adverts, a website and a dedicated phone line will encourage consumers to make more healthy choices in their weekly shop. A coalition of food and drink suppliers, under the ‘Business4Life’ banner, has pledged to invest more than £200m over four years in addition to the government’s own £75m, three-year advertising and marketing campaign.