Businesses pledge for more fruit and veg

Published on Thursday, 15 November 2012 09:08
Posted by Scott Buckler

More fruit and veg will be added to ready-meals, and supermarket fruit and veg sections will be expanded as part of a new drive to encourage everyone to get their 5-a-day, Public Health Minister Anna Soubry announced today

The move comes as part of the latest Responsibility Deal pledge, aiming to encourage action across the food industry to help people eat more fruit and vegetables. This includes foods right across the board - fresh, frozen, canned, dried and juiced products, as well as fruit and vegetables in pre-prepared food, such as ready-meals.

Eating five portions of fruit and veg a day helps to lower the risk of serious health problems, such as heart disease and some cancers, but figures show that two thirds of people still don't eat enough.

The new pledges include:

  • ALDI will increase the amount of store space dedicated to fresh produce and feature their discounted 'Super 6' fruit and vegetable lines in their promotional activities including TV advertising.
  • Iceland will offer coupon deals on fruit and vegetables, increase their promotion to its customers using new website and social media features, as well as introduce new fruit and vegetable products.
  • LIDL will rebrand its entire fruit and vegetable range making it more appealing – particularly for children – with fun characters and jokes on kids' packs.
  • Subway will launch a new campaign fronted by elite athletes Louis Smith and Anthony Ogogo, two of Subway's Famous Fans, to promote their choice of a Low Fat Sub personalised with their favourite extra salad items.

Public Health Minister Anna Soubry said:

"Getting your 5-a-day can help lower the risk of serious health problems, such as heart disease and some cancers, but we know that can be a challenge. That is why we want to work with the food industry to help everyone make healthier choices.

"Through the Responsibility Deal we have already achieved real progress in helping people cut the calories and salt in their diet.

"All of the major supermarkets have now committed to removing artificial trans fats, and over 70 per cent of fast food and takeaway meals sold on the high street have calories clearly labelled.

"This pledge is part of a wider government plan to encourage everyone to eat their 5-a-day, which includes our £10 million investment in the Change4Life campaign, and the 2.1 million children who receive a free piece of fruit or vegetable in school everyday under our scheme."

The 16 leading supermarkets, food manufacturers and trade bodies that have signed up to the pledge include ALDI, Co-operative Food, Iceland, LIDL, Morrisons, M&S, Sainsbury's, Tesco, Waitrose, General Mills, Mars, caterers 3663, Brakes, CH & Co Catering, Subway and the British Frozen Food Federation.

Chair of the Responsibility Deal Food Network Dr Susan Jebb said:

"Eating more fruit and vegetables is central to a healthy diet and I am delighted to see the tremendous efforts by the food industry to support this exciting initiative enabling people to boost their consumption.

"We expect to see some of the foods we buy everyday will include more fruit and vegetables. Supermarkets will make access to fresh produce easier and more attractive, as well as offering more promotions in-store. These new commitments complement existing Responsibility Deal pledges to reduce calories and salt and together will help to transform the nation's diet."

British Retail Consortium Food Director Andrew Opie said:

"Retailers are supporting this pledge. They recognise how important it is to use innovative products, prominent promotions and competitive pricing to encourage people to eat more fruit and vegetables.

"I hope this public commitment nails the myth that eating healthily is expensive. Customers have never had better access to affordable fresh food."

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