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UK: Lidl GB makes major fruit and veg pledge

Discount Retail Chain Lidl GB (owned by the German Schwarz Group) is aiming to radically increase the amount of fresh fruit and veg it sells in Britain as part of a major new healthy eating initiatlve.

The discounter has unveiled a new healthy food commitment that will see it aim to increase sales of healthy and healthier products to at least 85 per cent of total sales, based on tonnage volume, by 2025. The move includes a target to increase fruit and veg sales by 35 per cent in the next five years. Lidl’s specialist nutrition teams have developed a bespoke nutrient profiling system (NPS) based on Public Health England’s nutrient criteria for front-of-pack traffic light labelling, focusing on fat, saturated fat, sugar and salt, which ranks all products as healthy, healthier or least healthy.

As part of the commitment, its teams will assess over 200 lines each year that can be improved to meet the healthy or healthier criteria. The retailer said it will also be engaging with suppliers to ensure it boosts its portfolio of healthier products. The move comes as the discounter continues to invest in its ‘Get Fresh’ initiative, which aims to increase the range of fresh healthy products, like fresh meat, fruit and vegetables, available to customers in store to offer even more healthy choices.

Stores continue to be upgraded with larger, energy-efficient chillers, it explained, which can stock more than 100 new products on shelves. Lidl said it is prioritising placing fresh, healthy products at the heart of customers' store journey, with new products located prominently at the front of store. The programme will be complete by September this year. Christian Härtnagel, chief executive at Lidl GB, said: “At Lidl, we prove that eating healthy does not need to break the bank. Our competitive low prices across all our ranges, particularly fruit and vegetables, are market leading and ensure customers can access healthy food all year round. “Our Healthy Eating Pledge is our most ambitious healthy eating target yet and is focused on helping families make healthier choices when they shop with us, without compromising on price.”

Rebecca Tobi, Peas Please project manager at the Food Foundation, added: “Ahead of the National Food Strategy’s release later this week it’s fantastic to see Lidl making such strong commitments to increasing sales of healthier foods, particularly an ambitious 35 per cent increase in sales of fruit and veg. "This really places Lidl in a leadership position when it comes to retailers championing fruit and veg, and is exactly the sort of bold action that is required if we are to support the nation’s health and wellbeing, and create a food environment that actually supports healthier eating instead of making it challenging.”


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