According to a new study, customers buy healthier food if sweets and snacks are removed from bins and aisle edges.
Scientists from the University of Southampton teamed up with supermarkets in Iceland to test new arrangements that involved placing fruits and vegetables near store entrances.
The results of the research, published in the journal PLOS Medicine, showed that sales of confectionery products decreased, while sales of fruits and vegetables increased.
“Adjusting the design of supermarkets can help people make healthier food choices and direct people’s meals toward government dietary recommendations,” said Dr. Kristina Vogel, principal nutrition researcher in Public Health.
“The results of our study indicate that a healthy supermarket distribution could result in approximately 10,000 additional servings of fruit and vegetables and approximately 1,500 fewer servings of sweets sold per week in each store.”
The researchers said the study was more comprehensive than previous studies, which were limited in scope, for example by examining only one store or by putting together healthy and unhealthy products.
The new study aimed to reduce customers’ exposure to high-calorie products by placing non-food items in checkouts and at the ends of nearby aisles to measure the effects on store sales and card shopping patterns. Customer loyalty and diets for more than one family member.
Janice Beard, Professor of Public Health and Epidemiology at the MRC Center for Life Cycle Epidemiology, said: “These findings provide new evidence to suggest that the UK Government’s envisioned ban on displaying unhealthy foods more prominently at points of sale could be beneficial to the diet of the population. The effects could be further amplified if the requirement to have a product section near supermarket entrances is incorporated into the regulations.”
Matt Downs, Head of Coordination Development in Iceland, commented: “We were thrilled to support this long-term study and evaluation of how placing products in supermarkets affects the diets of our customers.
“We know that childhood obesity is an increasingly serious problem and that the retail sector must help solve it.
“We hope that the results of the study will provide information for the retail sector in general and policy makers about the impact of trade on purchasing decisions.”