“Meal Deals” – not so sweet anymore?
The government has over the years introduced measures to reduce sugar-related health diseases including: a sugar tax on soft drinks; a “traffic light” system (grading the health-risk of a product); and restrictions on marketing of unhealthy foods to children. However, In light of alarming increases in diseases such as obesity and diabetes, it is clear government efforts are not working effectively. This week Action on Sugar suggested high street retailers should be forced to only sell healthy meal deals.
Research by the pressure group Action on Sugar has found that many of the meal deals on offer contain four times an adult’s recommended daily intake of sugar and are therefore contributing to the various health diseases which are crippling families and the NHS. Yet the demand for meal deals is on the rise as customers increasingly desire fast and cheap food on the go. The issue is exacerbated by the fact that many people have difficulty accessing healthy foods and rely on meal deals – at breakfast, lunch and dinner – for their daily nutritional intake.
Is it time for retailers to take a leading role on promoting and providing more healthy eating options? Forcing retailers to only sell healthy meal deals, as suggested by Action on Sugar, is not a realistic solution. If, however, retailers are encouraged to see the benefits of providing and promoting healthy options and make healthy products more accessible for their customers it is likely to have a greater impact. It could provide retailers with an additional opportunity to engage with their customers, develop their brand and in turn increase their sales.