Lidl GB has today announced an ambitious new healthy food commitment, which will see the discounter increase sales of healthy and healthier products to at least 85% of total sales, based on tonnage volume, by 2025.
Lidl’s specialist nutrition teams have developed a bespoke nutrient profiling system (NPS) based on Public Health England’s nutrient criteria for front-of-pack traffic light labelling, focusing on fat, saturated fat, sugar and salt*, which ranks all products as healthy, healthier or least healthy.
As part of the commitment, its teams will assess over 200 lines each year that can be improved to meet the healthy or healthier criteria. Lidl will also be engaging with suppliers to ensure it boosts its portfolio of healthier products.
This comes as the discounter has invested in its ‘Get Fresh’ initiative, which aims to increase the range of fresh healthy products, like fresh meat, fruit and vegetables available to customers in-store to offer even more healthy choices. Stores continue to be upgraded with larger, energy-efficient chillers which can stock more than 100 new and exciting products on shelves. Lidl is prioritising placing fresh, healthy products at the heart of customer’s store journey, with new products located prominently at the front of store. The programme will be complete by September this year.
Christian Härtnagel, CEO at Lidl GB, said: “At Lidl, we prove that eating healthy does not need to break the bank. Our competitive low prices across all our ranges, particularly fruit and vegetables, are marketing leading and ensure customers can access healthy food all year round.
“Our Healthy Eating Pledge is our most ambitious healthy eating target yet and is focused on helping families make healthier choices when they shop with us, without compromising on price.”
Rebecca Tobi, Peas Please project manager at the Food Foundation said: “Ahead of the National Food Strategy’s release later this week it’s fantastic to see Lidl making such strong commitments to increasing sales of healthier foods, particularly an ambitious 35% increase in sales of fruit and veg.
This really places Lidl in a leadership position when it comes to retailers championing fruit and veg, and is exactly the sort of bold action that is required if we are to support the nation’s health and wellbeing, and create a food environment that actually supports healthier eating instead of making it challenging.”
The latest commitments are in addition to steps previously taken to promote healthy eating amongst children and reduce pester power, including the removal of cartoon characters from its own brand cereal ranges, and in 2014 becoming the first supermarket in Britain to remove sweets and chocolates from checkouts nationwide. Lidl was also one of the founder signatories to the Food Foundation’s Peas Please pledge in 2017 and committed to running more discounts on vegetables to make greens more affordable for more families. This year, Lidl has gone even further and strengthened its existing pledges by setting an additional target to increase the sale of fresh fruit and veg by 35% by 2026 and will report actual sales annually.
Lidl has committed to annually reporting its progress towards its healthy sales commitment and will monitor sales to help drive nutritional improvement across its full product range. Together, these moves demonstrate greater transparency in Lidl’s reporting of the types of food being sold and progress being made to encourage the sales of healthy and healthier products. It also supports Lidl’s wider pledges to regularly report food waste, which it has done since 2016.
 Healthy is defined by one or less ‘ambers’; Healthier is defined by two or more ‘ambers’ and no ‘reds’; Less healthy is defined by one or more ‘reds’