Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Voluntary industry initiatives to promote healthy diets: a case study on a major European food retailer

  • Peter von Philipsborn (a1), Jan Marcel Stratil (a1), Thomas Leonhard Heise (a2), Rüdiger Landgraf (a3), Hans Hauner (a4) and Eva Annette Rehfuess (a1)...
Abstract
Objective

To analyse the scope and content of the nutrition pledge announced by Lidl.

Design

We applied the approach recommended by the private-sector module of the INFORMAS (International Network for Food and Obesity Research, Monitoring and Action Support) food environment monitoring framework and qualitative content analysis to Lidl’s nutrition pledge.

Setting

Global.

Subjects

The nutrition pledge of Lidl, Europe’s largest food retailer.

Results

Lidl pledges to reduce the average sales-weighted content of added sugar and added salt in its own-brand products by 20 % until 2025, using 2015 as a baseline, starting in Germany. Moreover, it vows to reduce the saturated and trans-fatty acid contents of its own-brand products, without specifying targets or timelines. To achieve these targets, it pledges to apply a number of approaches, including reformulation, promotion of healthier products, reduction of package and portion sizes, and provision of nutrition information and education. Strengths of Lidl’s pledge are its extensive scope, the quantification of some targets, and its partially evidence-based approach to the selection of targets and interventions. Key limitations include the vagueness of many targets, a lack of transparency and the absence of independent monitoring and evaluation.

Conclusions

Lidl’s pledge, while commendable for its scope, does not meet current best practice guidelines. Given their current limitations, industry initiatives of this kind are likely to fall short of what is needed to improve population-level nutrition.

Copyright
Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Email peter.philipsborn@lmu.de
References
Hide All
1. Dutch EU Presidency (2016) Roadmap for Action on Food Product Improvement. https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/documenten/formulieren/2016/02/22/roadmap-for-action-on-food-product-improvement (accessed April 2017).
2. Dutch Ministry of Health Welfare and Sport (2016) Agreement to Improve Product Composition 2014–2020. http://www.rivm.nl/en/Topics/F/Food_Reformulation/Dutch_Agreement_to_Improve_Product_Composition_2014_2020 (accessed April 2017).
3. Koplan, JP & Brownell, KD (2010) Response of the food and beverage industry to the obesity threat. JAMA 304, 14871488.
4. Scott, C, Hawkins, B & Knai, C (2017) Food and beverage product reformulation as a corporate political strategy. Soc Sci Med 172, 3745.
5. Kraak, VI & Story, M (2015) Guiding principles and a decision-making framework for stakeholders pursuing healthy food environments. Health Aff (Millwood) 34, 19721978.
6. Yach, D (2014) Food industry: friend or foe? Obes Rev 15, 25.
7. Nixon, L, Mejia, P, Cheyne, A et al. (2015) ‘We’re part of the solution’: evolution of the food and beverage industry’s framing of obesity concerns between 2000 and 2012. Am J Public Health 105, 22282236.
8. Kraak, VI, Swinburn, B, Lawrence, M et al. (2014) An accountability framework to promote healthy food environments. Public Health Nutr 17, 24672483.
9. Lidl Deutschland (2017) Positionspapier Bewusste Ernährung. http://www.lidl.de/de/asset/other/170125_Positionspapier_Bewusste_Ernaehrung.pdf (accessed April 2017).
10. Tesco (2016) An update on our Corporate Responsibility commitments – November 2016. http://www.tescoplc.com/media/391787/corporate-responsibility-update_nov-2016-final.pdf (accessed April 2017).
11. Real (2017) Einkaufsleitlinie für Fett-, Zucker- und Salzreduzierte Produkte. http://shared.real.de/handeln_aus_verantwortung/pdf/Einkaufsleitlinie-Reformulierung.pdf (accessed April 2017).
12. Taillie, LS, Ng, SW & Popkin, BM (2016) Global growth of ‘big box’ stores and the potential impact on human health and nutrition. Nutr Rev 74, 8397.
13. Glanz, K, Bader, MD & Iyer, S (2012) Retail grocery store marketing strategies and obesity: an integrative review. Am J Prev Med 42, 503512.
14. Sacks, G, Robinson, E, Cameron, A et al. (2018) Inside our supermarkets: Australia 2018. Assessment of company policies and commitments related to obesity prevention and nutrition. http://www.insideourfoodcompanies.com.au/supermarkets (accessed August 2018).
15. Deloitte (2017) Global Powers of Retailing 2017: The art and science of customers. http://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/global/Documents/consumer-industrial-products/gx-cip-2017-global-powers-of-retailing.pdf (accessed April 2017).
16. Lidl International (2017) About Lidl. http://www.info.lidl/en-gb/index.html (accessed April 2017).
17. Retail-Index (2018) Rankings and Profiles of Food Retailers in Europe, America, Asia and Africa. http://www.retail-index.com/Sectors/FoodRetailersinEuropeandworldwide.aspx (accessed August 2018).
18. Dibb, S (2004) Rating retailers for health. National Consumer Council 2014. http://www.sustainweb.org/publications/rating_retailers_for_health (accessed August 2018).
19. Sharma, LL, Teret, SP & Brownell, KD (2010) The food industry and self-regulation: standards to promote success and to avoid public health failures. Am J Public Health 100, 240246.
20. Access to Nutrition Index (2018) Global Index 2018. http://www.accesstonutrition.org (accessed August 2018).
21. Sacks, G, Swinburn, B, Kraak, V et al. (2013) A proposed approach to monitor private-sector policies and practices related to food environments, obesity and non-communicable disease prevention. Obes Rev 14, 3848.
22. Mialon, M, Swinburn, B & Sacks, G (2015) A proposed approach to systematically identify and monitor the corporate political activity of the food industry with respect to public health using publicly available information. Obes Rev 16, 519530.
23. Sacks, G & Vanderlee, L (2018) BIA-Obesity (Business Impact Assessment – Obesity and population nutrition) Tool Australia 2018. Methods v1.0 May 2018. http://www.informas.org/bia-obesity (accessed August 2018).
24. Sacks, G, Swinburn, B, Kraak, V et al. (2013) A proposed approach to monitor private-sector policies and practices related to food environments, obesity and non-communicable disease prevention. Obes Rev 14, 3848.
25. Swinburn, B, Sacks, G, Vandevijvere, S et al. (2013) INFORMAS (International Network for Food and Obesity/non-communicable diseases Research, Monitoring and Action Support): overview and key principles. Obes Rev 14, 112.
26. INFORMAS (2018) INFORMAS Countries. http://www.fmhs.auckland.ac.nz/en/soph/global-health/projects/informas/regions.html org (accessed August 2018).
27. Hsieh, H-F & Shannon, SE (2005) Three approaches to qualitative content analysis. Qual Health Res 15, 12771288.
28. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Market Access Secretariat (2016) Private Label Trends: Packaged Food in Germany. http://www.agr.gc.ca/resources/prod/Internet-Internet/MISB-DGSIM/ATS-SEA/PDF/6745-eng.pdf (accessed April 2017).
29. Nestle, M (2013) Go forth and fortify. In Food Politics, pp. 298–314 [M Nestle, editor]. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
30. Lidl, UK (2017) Children’s diets challenged by supermarket checkout chocolates. http://www.lidl.co.uk/en/5028.htm (accessed April 2017).
31. Lidl Switzerland (2017) Alternative Kasse. http://www.verantwortung-lidl.ch/de/gesellschaft/gsund-und-munter-mit-lidl-schweiz/alternative-kasse/ (accessed April 2017).
32. British Dietetic Association (2017) Junk Free Checkouts Campaign. http://www.bda.uk.com/regionsgroups/groups/obesity/junk_free_checkouts (accessed April 2017).
33. Bundesamt für Risikobewertung (2016) BfR Verbrauchermonitor 2016. http://www.bfr.bund.de/cm/350/bfr-verbrauchermonitor-2016.pdf (accessed April 2017).
34. Yemm, G (2012) Financial Times Essential Guides: Leading Your Team . How to Set Goals, Measure Performance and Reward Talent. Harlow: Pearson.
35. HM Government (2016) Guidance: Childhood obesity: a plan for action. http://www.gov.uk/government/publications/childhood-obesity-a-plan-for-action (accessed April 2017).
36. World Health Organization (2015) Healthy diet. Factsheet no. 394. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs394/en/ (accessed April 2017).
37. European Commission (2015) Evaluation of a) Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 on nutrition and health claims made on food with regard to nutrient profiles and health claims made on plants and their preparations and of b) the general regulatory framework for their use in foods, http://ec.europa.eu/smart-regulation/roadmaps/docs/2015_sante_595_evaluation_health_claims_en.pdf (accessed April 2017).
38. World Health Organization (2015) WHO Regional Office for Europe nutrient profile model. http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/270716/Europe-nutrient-profile-model-2015-en.pdf (accessed April 2017).
39. Food Standards Agency (2017) Salt targets. http://www.food.gov.uk/northern-ireland/nutritionni/salt-ni/salt-targets (accessed April 2017).
40. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährung (2016) Speisesalzgehalt in Lebensmitteln senken. http://www.dge.de/uploads/media/DGE-Pressemeldung-aktuell-03-2016-Speisesalz_01.pdf (accessed April 2017).
41. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährung (2015) Evidenzbasierte Leitlinie: Fettzufuhr und Prävention ausgewählter ernährungsmitbedingter Krankheiten. http://www.dge.de/uploads/media/Gesamt-DGE-Leitlinie-Fett-2015.pdf (accessed April 2017).
42. Lidl (2017) brotZeit e.V. http://www.lidl.de/de/brotzeit-e-v/s7373717 (accessed April 2017).
43. diabetesDE (2017) Prävention fängt beim Einkauf an: Gesundes lohnt sich. http://www.diabetesde.org/pressemitteilung/praevention-faengt-beim-einkauf-gesundes-lohnt (accessed April 2017).
44. Deutsches Ärzteblatt (2017) Deutsche Diabetes-Hilfe und Lidl arbeiten bei Verbraucheraufklärung zusammen. http://www.aerzteblatt.de/nachrichten/72728/Deutsche-Diabetes-Hilfe-und-Lidl-arbeiten-bei-Verbraucheraufklaerung-zusammen (accessed April 2017).
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Public Health Nutrition
  • ISSN: 1368-9800
  • EISSN: 1475-2727
  • URL: /core/journals/public-health-nutrition
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Type Description Title
WORD
Supplementary materials

von Philipsborn et al. supplementary material
von Philipsborn et al. supplementary material 1

 Word (288 KB)
288 KB
WORD
Supplementary materials

von Philipsborn et al. supplementary material
von Philipsborn et al. supplementary material 2

 Word (43 KB)
43 KB

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed