Morrisons has become the latest big British retailer to remove confectionary from its main bank checkouts, following a number of complaints from customers.
Dubbed ‘guilt lanes’, these areas would traditionally display sweets, crisps and fizzy drinks, encouraging impulse buys on the last leg of customers’ shopping journeys. Now Morrisons has vowed to remove these items, and replace them with healthy alternatives such as bottled water, fruit and nuts, by February next year.
“We have been listening to parents and guardians who have told us that sweets on checkouts can sometimes lead to pestering from their children,” said Morrisons CEO David Potts.
“This change will make the trip through the checkout easier and less stressful.”
Public Health England is one of many organisations considering the impact supermarkets and their layouts can have on the wider crackdown on unhealthy foods. It warned that it would be increasingly difficult to justify ‘guilt lanes’, particularly in light of the government’s upcoming war on childhood obesity.
“It’s great that Morrisons has taken this positive step, which responds to a clear demand from their customers,” said Public Health Minister Jane Ellen MP. “Retailers have a major role to play in helping people make healthier choices.”
Morrisons’ Company Nutritionist Bryonie Hollaert said: “We’re doing what we can to help customers choose healthier foods.
As well as taking away chocolate from checkouts, we are also removing sugar and salt from other food and drink products. Last year alone we removed nearly one billion calories and over 38 million teaspoons of sugar from our soft drinks.”