Nelson supermarket Fresh Choice checkouts swapped out junk food for healthy snacks

Richmond supermarket Fresh Choice has replaced chocolate bars, lollies and fizzy drinks for fresh fruit and water in a bid to reduce sugar consumption. Photo / Bay of Plenty Times
Richmond supermarket Fresh Choice has replaced chocolate bars, lollies and fizzy drinks for fresh fruit and water in a bid to reduce sugar consumption. Photo / Bay of Plenty Times

Nelson shoppers won't get their sugary fix at the checkout anymore after a local supermarket swapped out junk food for healthy snacks.

Richmond supermarket Fresh Choice has replaced chocolate bars, lollies and fizzy drinks for fresh fruit and water in a bid to reduce sugar consumption.

Fresh Choice owner and operator Greg Watson said his supermarket was the first full service supermarket in the country to be confectionary-free at all checkouts.

It was a moral decision due to the rise in obesity, he said.

"We weren't happy with all the sugary stuff by the checkout.

"We are well aware parents come in with their kids and after half an hour of being dragged around, they get a bit tetchy.

"Quite often mum and dad will cave in to give them a chocolate bar at the end of their shop," he said.

While confectionary was removed from the checkout shelves this week, the response from shoppers have so far been positive.

"It's been 99.99 per cent fantastic. People are really pleased especially in the current climate as obesity is a problem in New Zealand," Watson said.

In the colder months, cold and flu remedies as well as vitamins would be displayed by the checkout but in the summer it would be replaced by sunscreen.

Watson said while the change might mean the supermarket take a short-term financial loss, he believed there would be plenty of support from the local community in the long run.

"Hopefully a few other supermarkets might join in."

Fresh Choice has received plenty of support and praise from its community when it announced the news on Tuesday.

"Good on you Fresh Choice. Let's hope other Supermarkets follow suit. Maybe you could look at reducing the amount of soft drinks, confectionary, salty snacks & cakes/biscuits. Most supermarkets have four full aisles devoted to sugary & salty snack foods," a user wrote.

Another wrote: "You guys are awesome I love shopping at you're (sic) store, and now it's even better!"

The Watson family have been selling groceries in Richmond for the past 59 years.

- NZ Herald

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