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Sugar-free check-outs will hit sweet spot with 34% of Kiwis

Sugar-free check-outs will hit sweet spot with 34% of New Zealanders

Supermarkets which remove all sugary products from check- out lanes will hit a sweet spot with shoppers.

A new Horizon Research study finds 34.1% of adults nationwide think supermarkets should remove confectionary and sugary items from all checkout lanes.

32.8% say it will make them feel better about the supermarket at which they mostly shop.

13.2% (or about 422,100 adults nationwide) say they will use a checkout lane in a New Zealand supermarket if it is free of sugary goods. 9.9% say they already have. Countdown has been providing a sugar free check-out lane in each of its supermarkets.

It seems the array of sweet treats at check outs can’t be resisted by 9.4% (or 300,600) adults who say they regularly buy sugary goods on impulse at a supermarket checkout counter. However, nearly 6 out of 10 say they aren’t tempted.

Some 21.7% of shoppers, however, buy sugary goods at check-outs, but not on impulse, and say it is convenient for them to be able to select them at the checkout counter.

The Horizon survey follows a decision by the United Kingdom’s largest supermarket chain, Tescos, to remove all confectionary - like sweets and chocolates - from its checkout counters by the end of this year. It says supermarkets can encourage unhealthy impulse purchases.

Supermarkets in New Zealand have been reported as saying they would consider following Tesco's move if there was enough demand for it from customers.

The Horizon survey finds 34.1% saying supermarkets should remove sugary goods at check outs, while 17.7% think they should not.

A combined 22% of adults they would “definitely” or “probably” shop at a supermarket which offers sugar free check-outs.

The sugar-free move is favoured slightly more by those primarily responsible for household decisions and by older rather than younger age groups.
Those most definite about wanting to shop at a supermarket that makes the change are those who’s regular supermarket is Four Square, followed by those who shop at Countdown, Pak n Save and New World.

Countdown is the regular supermarket for 38.7% of respondents, Pak n Save 35% and New World 24.6%.

The survey was conducted between June 28 and July 11, 2014. The 2,271 respondents are aged 18+ and are members of the HorizonPoll national online panel, which represents the New Zealand adult population at the 2013 census. Results are weighted to ensure a representative sample. At a 95% confidence level, the survey has a maximum margin of error of +/- 2.1%.

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