Aldi pledges to ban sweets from checkouts

Aldi has become the latest supermarket to pledge to remove sweets from checkout displays in favour of “healthier tills”.

Aldi has pledged to ban sweets from the checkouts at all its stores by January 2015.

The discount grocer joins Tesco and Lidl in banning the so-called “guilt aisles” from checkouts in recent months – although the former company has only removed confectionery from its Express and Metro stores.

Marks & Spencer is one of the few remaining grocers still displaying sweets at its checkouts.

Aldi says that from January 2015 all confectionery, sweets and chocolate will be replaced with healthier options such as dried fruit, juices and water across all its 500 stores.

Only non-confectionery products that meet the UK’s Ofcom health criteria will be stocked at Aldi tills, meaning foods scoring 4 points or more on the scale or drinks scoring 1 point or more will not be stocked in that area of the store. Similarly, products scoring an Amber or Red on front-of-pack traffic light labelling will only be displayed if nutrients are naturally occurring and products with more than one Red rating will not be included in till displays.

The rollout follows a 16-week trial in a selected number of stores, which ran from February to June this year.

Giles Hurley, joint managing director of corporate buying at Aldi, says: “The healthier tills trial enabled us to determine what our customers want at the checkout. It quickly showed that healthier foods prove more popular with our shoppers than the traditional checkout offer of confectionery and sweets.

“Aldi takes a customer-focused approach, which involves helping our shoppers to lead healthier lifestyles. We are now pleased to be able to roll-out healthier tills as part of this.”

Aldi maintained a record 4.8 per cent share of the supermarket sector in the three months to 17 August, according to the latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel. The grocer is close to overtaking Waitrose, which has a 4.9 per cent share of the sector.

Last month UK consumers rated Aldi their top brand, according to YouGov’s mid-year BrandIndex top 10 list.