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Michael Barker

BY MICHAEL BARKER

@michaelbarker

Wednesday 5th May 2021, 11:12 London

Tesco extends healthy eating commitments

Supermarket outlines plans to extend its commitments to Booker and central European operations

Tesco extends healthy eating commitments

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Tesco is extending its recently announced health strategy to its Booker wholesale business and central European operations.

In March, Tesco outlined its efforts to boost the sale of affordable, healthy, and sustainable food. The commitments covered the supermarket's UK and Irish business, stating this is its largest market and where its health work is currently most advanced.

Those health ambitions include commitments to increase sales of healthy products as a proportion of total sales, boosting sales of plant-based meat alternatives, and making products healthier through reformulation.

The supermarket pointed out that the commitments have been welcomed by ShareAction and a number of leading health organisations, adding that it has since continued its engagement with ShareAction. ShareAction is withdrawing its proposed AGM special resolution in recognition of the commitments, it added. 

The new commitments on health for Tesco's central European business are:

- To increase sales of healthier products on a similar trajectory to the UK ambitions, by developing the appropriate methodology to establish a baseline and targets by the end of 2022.

- To increase sales of plant-based meat alternatives by 300 per cent by 2025.

- To develop a plan to make own-brand products healthier through reformulation in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary.

The definition of ‘healthy’ products for the UK business is based on the UK government’s nutrient-profiling model, Tesco explained, but for its three central European markets, it said it will first work to develop an equivalent and appropriate methodology to cover these operations.

Booker commitments

As Booker does not sell directly to consumers, Tesco's commitments in that area focus on providing a greater choice of healthier products, extending plant-based ranges, making existing products healthier, and offering healthier alternatives. It also commits to a new tool and an accelerated rollout of labelling, which will give its business customers the health and nutrition information that they need to support their end-consumers in making well-informed choices.

Booker’s commitments on health are:

- To set up an online portal that provides a recipe management, allergy and nutritional tool for business caterers.

- To offer business customers a range of plant-based products.

- To accelerate the rollout of front-of-pack nutritional information on Booker’s retail products, consistent with the policy applied to Tesco products.

- To make products healthier by seeking to improve the health profile every time Tesco review's a product, and to offer a healthier alternative in all key categories.

Tesco stressed it will share progress against its health targets annually, through the Little Helps Plan.

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