Half of all Woolworths Food stores have removed sweets from their checkout queues as part of a healthier living initiative announced in 2015.
According to Woolworths, the plan – which saw sweets and chocolates replaced with better, healthier snacking alternatives – has been implemented at 171 stores across South Africa and Africa, shooting past the group’s initial commitment to restructure 166 stores.
“These stores represent 50% of total Woolworths stores and 70% of total sweets and chocolates sales,” the group said.
“The remaining stores will be completed in a phased approach over the course of 2016/2017. Sweets and chocolates continue to be available in stores, located in areas where customers have the choice to shop, rather than in the checkout aisles.”
Woolworths announced in August 2018 that it would make a move to remove sweets and chocolates from checkout aisles as part of its decade-long “Good Food Journey”.
The aim of the plan is to provide South African consumers with better, healthier options in meals.
The chain said that over the course of 2007 and 2008, it removed the equivalent of 20 million teaspoons (approximately 79 tonnes) of sugar from chilled 100% juices and nectars, and reduced the sugar content across the yoghurt range by 15%.
It has reduced the salt content used in making over 100 of its own-brand products, which has resulted in a dramatic reduction of 35.2 tonnes of salt, the group said.
At the stores where sweets and chocolates have been removed, alternatives such as dried fruit, nuts and biltong have been provided instead, based on customer feedback.