Limiting marketing of high-sugar foods in supermarkets doesn’t cut into store profits, but it may improve public health, Australian researchers report.
Price promotions, end-of-aisle displays and putting products at eye level can stimulate sales. Ending these practices reduced purchase of sugar-sweetened drinks and candy in participating stores by the equivalent to nearly two tons of sugar, the researchers said. These included foods and drinks with added sugars, as well as natural sugar in honey, syrups and fruit juices.
The reductions in soft drink and candy purchases were particularly large, researchers said. Even so, profits were not affected, they added.
The study, published Oct. 7 in The Lancet Planetary Health, ran for 12 weeks and focused on 20 randomly selected stores in rural Australia. Some stores restricted promotion of sugary foods, others did not.
“Our novel study is the first to show that limiting [promotional] activities can also have an effect