Campaigning to curb supermarket power

Unhealthy Food

Supermarkets encourage the consumption of unhealthy foods, such as heavily processed ready meals high in salt and sugar content. Supermarket practices include:

  • the majority of promotions such as two-for-one offers being for ready meals and junk food, and rarely for fresh fruit and vegetables

  • snacks such as chocolate being offered at the checkout

  • high salt content in own-brand foods

  • misleading and complicated nutritional labelling and information and a lack of information about nutrition and healthy food choices

The UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Olivier De Schutter, published a report in March 2012 on improving nutrition and reducing hunger. He stated that : “Urbanization, supermarketization and the global spread of modern lifestyles have shaken up traditional food habits. The result is a public health disaster.”

The journalist Felicity Lawrence writing in the Guardian, November 2010, highlighted how Tesco has been a leading opponent of the traffic light food labelling scheme favoured by the Food Standards Agency.