Date 2021
Organisations The Food Foundation, Veg Power
Resource Types Report, Insight
Language English

This briefing provides an update on UK retailers’ commitments to increase the proportion of sales
from healthier products to improve diets. Last year, our “Tracking for Health” briefing showed
that only Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer (M&S) had commitments to increase sales of healthier
products. A year on, we are starting to see very encouraging signs that the retail industry as a whole
is shifting in the right direction. Now, retailers representing 60 per cent of the UK grocery retail
market have made commitments to increase healthier sales across at least some of their products
including ALDI UK, Lidl, M&S, Sainsbury’s and Tesco.

Setting long-term targets to increase the proportion of sales from healthier products is a key
performance indicator (KPI) that our Healthy Markets initiative, amongst others, has been calling
for. Retailers can adopt this KPI to help investors and other stakeholders understand how they are
adapting to rising consumer demand for healthier products and increased obesity regulation.
Alongside the current tax levy on sugary drinks and the sugar and calorie reduction programmes, in
2022, the UK government plans to introduce restrictions on the promotion and advertising of
high fat, sugar, salt (HFSS) products to limit their harmful impact on health and drive healthier
consumption. These measures are also supported by consumers, who are increasingly demanding
healthier products.

In this context, it’s positive to see more retailers making commitments to increase the proportion of
sales from healthier products compared to last year. But more effort is needed. There are still retailers
who do not disclose any information or commitments on the healthiness of their sales, some that
only partially disclose. There are also still issues with targets and definitions not being aligned and
comparable across the industry.