Woolworths has been on its Good Food Journey for over 10 years, during which time significant steps have been taken towards providing customers with better choices. Some noteworthy milestones have included the announcement in 1999 that MSG and tartrazine would no longer be used, as well as substantial salt and sugar reductions in many existing foods products.
As the next step on this journey, Woolworths has made the decision to remove all sweets and chocolates from our checkout queues, reflecting our commitment to providing alternatives for children and parents.
Over the course of 2007 and 2008, Woolworths removed the equivalent of 20 million teaspoons (approximately 79 tonnes) of sugar from our chilled 100% juices and nectars, reduced the sugar content across the yoghurt range by 15% and gradually reduced the salt content used in making over 100 of its own-brand products, which has resulted in a dramatic reduction of 35.2 tonnes of salt. These include breads, cereals and deli meats, as well as biltong, cheese, boerewors, fish, party snacks and some of its frozen foods.
Spencer Sonn, member of the Foods Leadership Team at Woolworths, said, “I am delighted that we are committing to remove sweets and chocolates from our checkout aisles. Customers can trust that Woolworths has their best interests at heart, and as a father myself, I am very proud that we are leading the way on providing healthier kids’ options. We want to thank our customers for their continuing support and for their feedback on the kind of snacks they would like to see on the stands at pay points.”
Woolworths will be engaging with customers through panel discussions and focus groups to find out what alternatives they would like to see in the checkout aisles. The rollout will start with all new Woolworths stores, as well as large format stores.
Notes to editors:
About Woolworths Good Food Journey
The Good Food Journey is the name we’ve given to our ongoing pursuit to offer South Africa food that’s better for our customers, better for the environment and better for the people who produce it. It encompasses everything from avoiding additives like tartrazine and all other azo-dyes, MSG, aspartame, saccharine and cyclamate in our foods, switching to natural colourants and flavourants, never using mechanically deboned meat, labelling ingredients from potentially GM crop sources and offering more organic and free range choices to caring for the welfare of animals and promoting healthy eating as part of a healthy lifestyle, which includes reducing the salt in breads, cereals, deli meats and providing nutritional information on most products for customers to make informed choices.
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