ACS encourages retailers to promote Healthy Start scheme

The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has encouraged retailers to promote the government’s digital Healthy Start scheme in stores.

The scheme is catered to those who are at least 10 weeks pregnant, parents, carers and young children in low-income families to help them buy healthy food and milk and get free Healthy Start vitamins.

Through the digital scheme eligible shoppers are provided with a prepaid card instead of paper vouchers.

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According to the Association’s Voice of Local Shop Survey May 2022, one in four retailers have increased healthy product sales and have stocked more healthy products in their stores over the past three years.

The Healthy Start scheme covers products such as plain liquid cow’s milk including UHT varieties, fresh, frozen, and tinned fruit and vegetables, infant formula milk as well as fresh, dried and tinned pulses.

“Local shops play a key role in providing a key role in feeding their communities and ensuring that their customers have access to healthy foods,” ACS chief executive James Lowman said.

“Convenience retailers are committed to providing their customers with a diverse range of products and we know from our research that a quarter of local shops have increased the sale of healthy products to their customers over the past three years.”

Lowman added: “We are pleased with how the scheme has been extended over time to include a wider range of products and we want to grow the number of retailers promoting the Healthy Start scheme in their stores, and to grow the benefit that customers can get from the scheme.”

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