Supermarket giant Tesco is giving away free fruit to children who are shopping with their parents. After being initially trialled in one small store in Lincolnshire, the incentive has been that successful that it has been rolled out in more than 800 Tesco stores.
The idea was suggested by checkout cashier Maria Simpson, who thought up the venture as an alternative to parents giving their children sweets and other sugary snacks whilst shopping. Children can choose from apples, bananas and oranges and get one piece each while their parents shop. Tesco expects to give away 1 million pieces of fruit every month this year.
Tesco hopes the scheme will make the shopping experience easier for mums and dads, and hopes that the distraction will prevent tantrums. The idea also encourages children to eat one of their 5 a Day.
This follows Tesco’s decision two years ago to remove sweets and chocolates from its checkouts. This is just one of many steps Tesco has taken in an aim to encourage healthy eating and tackle obesity. Last year, the company announced that all the children’s lunchbox-sized soft drinks it sells would contain zero added sugar.
Tesco CEO for UK and ROI, Matt Davies, said “We’re Britain’s biggest greengrocer, so we want to make it easier for parents to get their children eating more healthily,”
“As a dad, I know it can be tricky getting children to eat their fruit and vegetables, so we’re hoping this initiative will help create healthy eating habits that will stay with children as they grow up.”
The idea is supported by The British Heart Foundation. Chief Executive Simon Gillespie said “It’s a positive step towards improving children’s health throughout the UK and helps parents ensure their children get their five portions of fruit and vegetables every day.”