Scunthorpe-based Nisa-Today’s is to participate in a Department of Health scheme announced yesterday (13th August), to tackle the problem of obesity by boosting sales of fruit and vegetables in convenience stores in deprived areas of England.
The project, which follows a similar format to one in Scotland which successfully increased sales, will begin with a trial in the North East in the Autumn, in two of the group’s Nisa Symbol stores. It will involve increasing visibility of fruit and vegetables through new shelving at store entrances and bespoke promotional material - encouraging healthy eating.
The scheme is a collaboration of the leading convenience store groups in the UK through their membership of the Association of Convenience stores (ACS) – the lobbying organisation for local shops. A total of 20 stores will run the pilot in the North East, which is targeted to increase to 120 stores in other areas of deprivation (designated by Government) in England by March 2009. The convenience store sector is the first in the grocery industry to go live with the project and the Department of Health has allocated £200,000 total funding across all groups for the first year of the scheme.
Neil Turton, chief executive officer of Nisa-Today’s commented, ““We’re delighted to be given the opportunity to work on this campaign to reduce obesity and promote healthy eating.
At Nisa-Today’s we are already heavily committed to promoting fruit and vegetables to our members and their customers through our 5-A-Day accreditation and the work we do in stores - and the project will build upon this activity and drive future success.
Independent retail stores are ideally placed at the centre of communities – across all sociodemographic groups - to communicate healthy eating messages to consumers, with a view to changing behaviour. It is testament to the importance with which our sector regards this issue, that competing groups are able to work collaboratively through the ACS on this campaign towards a common goal for Government.
We are very much looking forward to implementing the trial in stores in the Autumn.”