More fruit and veg in supermarkets as well as in ready meals

Updated on 16 November 2012 | 0 Comments

Seventeen companies pledge initiatives as part of Department of Health's Responsibility Deal.

Supermarkets and food manufacturers have pledged to increase the amount of fruit and vegetables in shops and in foods.

As part of the Department of Health’s Responsibility Deal, 17 companies have voluntarily signed up to do more to get people eating their five a day.

Pledges announced so far include:

  • More fruit and vegetables in ready meals.
  • Aldi will expand its fresh fruit and vegetable section.
  • The Co-op will offer money-off coupons for fresh, frozen and canned fruit and veg products.
  • Iceland will introduce new fruit and veg products and offer money-off coupons.
  • Lidl is to trial ‘healthy checkouts’ that feature fruit, veg and water promotions rather than sweets and chocolate. It will also rebrand its entire fruit and veg range to make it more appealing to children.
  • Sainsbury’s will offer seven different fruit bags as part of its £3 lunchtime meal deal.
  • Subway will launch a new advertising campaign fronted by Olympians Louis Smith and Anthony Ogogo promoting low-fat subs.
  • Tesco will launch new meal ranges that include a minimum of one portion of fruit and veg, include snack packs in meal deals and move frozen fruit into its dessert sections.

Debunking the cost myth

Government figures say that only a third of people eat their five a day. And surveys consistently show that one of the major reasons people give for not eating more fruit and veg is that it’s too expensive. The money-off coupons are one of a range of measures aimed at changing that mindset.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt welcomed the pledges but wants more companies to sign up.

His predecessor Andrew Lansley was criticised for being “too close” to the food industry and not doing enough to push through changes via the Responsibility Deal.

Many experts would like it to be a compulsory programme.

What do you think of these moves? Should the Government force the food industry to adopt more healthy eating practices and promotions? Let us know in the Comments box below.

More on healthier eating

Forget five a day, now you need eight a day!

Top five tips for healthy kids' lunches

10 'lies' about healthy food and drink

How a TV puppet made me eat my veg

New food labels to be introduced next year


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