In an attempt to improve buying decisions for its customers, Grocery chain Aldi announced earlier this year that it will be replacing the candy in checkout aisles with more healthful alternatives, such as trail mix, granola bars, and dried fruit. The change will go into effect by the end of 2016 in each of the company’s 1,500 stores.
CEO of Aldi Jason Hart said:
“By introducing Healthier Checklanes and through a number of other initiatives, we are doing our part to remove temptation at checkout and stocking stores with even more nutritious options. At ALDI, we truly care about our customers, and we’re responding with guilt-free checkout zones and increased food options they can feel good about.”
Included in the initiative is also the expansions of organics. The German grocery chain, which is rapidly expanding throughout the United States, currently operating nearly 1500 stores across 32 states, is making great strides to offer healthy, organic foods at an affordable price. The company also became become the first major European retailer to ban pesticides toxic to bees, including the neonicotinoids imidacloprid, clothianidin, and thiamethoxam, from all produce sold in their stores.
In the statement issued by ALDI earlier this year, the company said it is “broadening its product offerings within every aisle, including:
- Expanding its selection of fresh and organic meat and produce, including the Never Any! brand of meat products that contain no added antibiotics, hormones, animal by-products or other additives.
- Expanding the SimplyNature line of products, free of more than 125 artificial ingredients, as well as a gluten-free line of products under the ALDI exclusive brand, liveGfree.
- Highlighting nutritional facts on the front of its exclusive brand food packages for shoppers to easily find key nutritional information.
- Partnering with registered dietitians through its Advisory Council to provide tips, recipes and meal-planning ideas that make healthy eating easy and affordable for families.”
Consumer advocacy group The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) applauded the move. CSPI Senior Nutrition Policy Counsel Jessica Almy wrote in a statement:
“Putting products at checkout can prompt purchases — and putting foods at kids’ eye level can induce requests for those products and family conflict. Giving customers choices they can feel good about supports their health and frees parents up to say ‘yes’ to their kids.”
According to a report from the CSPI last year, about 60% of shoppers interviewed by food company researchers bought their candy from the checkout. If every grocery chain made this shift, it would surely have a positive impact nationwide (and globally).