Tesco has set a target of ensuring that 65% of each shopper's basket consists of healthy products, including fresh fruits and vegetables, by 2025.
Cancer Research UK's Chief Executive, Michelle Mitchell, expressed approval of Tesco's commitment to restrict price promotions on high-fat, salt, and sugar (HFSS) items despite the delays from the UK Government. Mitchell cited research indicating that although people intend to make healthier choices while shopping, they often struggle to do so in practice.
The study also revealed that multi-buy promotions can increase household food and drink purchases by around 20%. Cancer Research UK hopes that other supermarkets and the UK Government will follow Tesco's lead in making decisions that contribute positively to people's health and finances, considering that obesity is linked to 13 types of cancer.
Tesco has taken steps to address obesity by adjusting the calorie content of its own-brand products, aiming to reduce 100 billion calories from these offerings by 2025. Ashwin Prasad, Tesco Group's Chief Product Officer, emphasised the company's mission to become the most convenient destination for healthy and sustainable shopping, while also maintaining affordable prices.
Tesco's Better Baskets campaign seeks to achieve this by combining healthier items with competitive prices through initiatives such as Clubcard, Low Everyday Prices, and Aldi Price Match promotions.
James Toop, CEO of Bite Back 2030, a youth activist movement advocating for a fairer food system, commended Tesco for demonstrating that it is possible to offer value to customers without heavily promoting unhealthy food.
Toop highlighted the global epidemic of food-related health issues and stressed the importance of making healthy food affordable for everyone, particularly children who are disproportionately affected.