Italian retailer Coop has launched a campaign to promote healthy eating by replacing the usual checkout snacks with healthier alternatives.
The supermarket announced it would favour single-portion snacks based on nuts and seeds, dehydrated vegetables and fruits, cereal bars, organic food and products with nutritional value. These will include products from the Coop Bene.sì and Viviverde ranges.
It will roll out the campaign in 900 stores to offer snacks that do not contain big amounts of sugar, fat and salt and are free from preservatives.
The initiative comes four years after the magazine Il Fatto Alimentare launched a petition on Change.org asking supermarkets to remove unhealthy snacks from checkouts. The magazine argued that impulsive purchases at checkouts tended to include fattening products.
A 2016 report by Euro Coop, the sectoral body of the International Co-operative Alliance, showed that consumer co-operatives were very active in fighting obesity. It said Co-op Italia had developed a special logo – Moderate Consumption for Children – for use on products that were appealing to children but were rich in sugar, salt or fat, such as fruit juice.
Coop Italia also uses another logo to tell their customers how many minutes of physical activity are required to burn off calories from the product.
In its report for the year 2017, Coop Italia revealed that health was a key concern for its customers, with products perceived as having a beneficial impact witnessing an increase in sales.
Overall, 70% of consumers shopping at Coop Italia said they were willing to pay more for higher quality products. Sales of free-range eggs had also increased by 15%, along with sales of whole grain gluten-free and lactose-free items.