LONDON—Tesco, the U.K.’s biggest supermarket chain headquartered outside of London, has promised to boost offerings and encourage the sale of healthier food and drinks across its retail operations. The move comes as the chain attempts to stave off pressure from investors concerned about products that may lead to obesity.
According to Bloomberg, the company’s goal includes changes to its central European operations and wholesaler, Brooker Group, within the pledge to boost healthy product sales. The target re-enforces a commitment made in March regarding Tesco’s U.K. and Irish stores, which already aim for healthy products to comprise 65% of total sales by 2025, up from 58% presently.
A shareholder resolution in February that called on the company to cut its exposure to unhealthy products that are high in salt, sugar and fat brought about the commitment. After the coronavirus pandemic threw a spotlight on obesity and the importance of healthy diets, investors began pressing food suppliers to make changes.
“Investors are recognizing the importance of health,” said Louisa Hodge, engagement manager at ShareAction, a U.K. charity that promotes responsible investment. “They see the risks and opportunities supermarkets face, given their outsized role in shaping our diets.”
C-stores have long been focused on providing quick and healthy snack options for consumers. To learn more about how convenience stores add healthy options to their inventory, check out “Healthy Grab-and-Go” and “A Healthy Alternative” in NACS Magazine.
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