Big 4 running 1000s of junk food promotions every week

Sainsbury’s is the only Big 4 grocer geared up for a looming ban on junk food promotions, a shareholder group has said.

According to ShareAction, as reported by The Grocer, the supermarket has halted multibuy offers on unhealthy foods ahead of their outlawing next October.

Asda and Morrisons each run over 300 of these promotions every week, while Tesco runs around 120.

It comes after a survey showed that almost nine in ten supermarket bosses wanted the reforms pushed back to 2023.

READ MORE: Asda lagging behind Big 4 rivals, says investment bank

However, ShareAction also found that Sainsbury’s had not stopped promoting products high in salt, fat and sugar (HFSS).

Instead, it has shifted away from multibuys to alternative offers like meal deals.

In five weeks between August and September, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons both ran around 5700 promotions for HFSS products.

They were closely followed by Asda and Tesco, which each had around 5000.

ShareAction senior manager Ignacio Vazquez called on supermarkets to “better integrat[e] considerations around nutrition in their promotional and marketing strategies”.

“Progressive retailers can stay ahead of growing regulation in this space while driving improvements in public health outcomes,” he continued.

“With two in every three pounds spent in food going to supermarkets, these companies have a major influence on the nation’s eating habit.”

Charlotte Linnebank, director of software company Questionmark, said the study showed the need for grocers to become more transparent.

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