Cost of living: Tesco boss warns of spike in food bank use

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Tesco has pledged to continue with the proposed ban on multibuy promotions despite the Government’s recent U-turn which delayed restrictions until October 2023. The UK’s largest supermarket will no longer display buy one get one free, amongst other offers on “unhealthy” food and drinks. 

Tesco said it has been cutting back on these multi-buy promotions for several years. 

It also explained there would be no need for customers to hunt for group product offers as the deals it already provides are “reliable low prices”. 

Jason Tarry, Tesco’s UK and Republic of Ireland chief, said: “Our mission is to make Tesco the easiest place to shop for a healthy, more sustainable basket – while keeping the cost of the weekly shop in check.

“It’s vital we keep making the right calls on behalf of customers and communities. 

“Customers are telling us they want to eat a more healthy, sustainable diet, but without having to stretch the weekly shopping budget. 

“We agree and, thanks to our laser focus on great value, customers won’t need to make that compromise at Tesco.” 

Tesco chief customer officer Alessandra Bellini added: “We will always make sure our products are competitively priced. But we can’t stop there.

“Obesity levels are rising among adults and children and the health of our nation must also be at the top of our agenda.”

A recent study looked into the shopping habits of Tesco customers. 

The research showed customers at this particular supermarket found it hard to change their shopping habits. 

The vast majority (86 percent) said they wanted to eat more healthily, while a further 77 percent wanted help from supermarkets in doing so.

The ban on multi-buy offers is part of Tesco’s wider commitment to support customers to lead healthier and more sustainable lives. 

They are also looking to achieve the goal to boost sales of healthy products to 65 percent as a proportion of total sales by 2025; a target it set following pressure from investors’ campaign group ShareAction.

The delay for restrictions on high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) products was to give ministers a chance to assess the impact on household finances as inflation and household bills continue to rise, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) officials said. 

However, health campaigners have accused Prime Minister Boris Johnson of “playing politics” with children’s health. 

It comes after research revealed one in five children aged between 10 and 11 are thought to be obese in the UK.

Public Health minister Maggie Throup commented on the Government’s decision. 

She said: “We’re committed to doing everything we can to help people live healthier lives. 

“Pausing restrictions on deals like buy-one-get-one-free will allow us to understand its impact on consumers in light of an unprecedented global economic situation.”

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