Tesco share price: Grocer commits to sugar reduction programme
Tesco (LON:TSCO) has committed to cutting the sugar content of its soft drinks by five percent every year, in what campaigners described as the first ‘major sugar reduction programme’ of any retailer. The move will see all added sugar taken out of the grocer’s ‘Kids’ category drinks, while own-brand full sugar beverages will be reformulated to reduce sugar content by five percent a year.
Tesco has remarked that its sugar reformulation approach had begun in 2012, with the sugar content of soft drinks cut by 30 percent since then. In January, the retailer removed sweets and chocolates from checkouts across its supermarkets and replaced them with healthier options. The grocer has also signed a long-term deal with global juice company Refresco Gerber to develop a new technology to reduce sugar levels in drinks. Now the company is “commitment to continue this work”. “Overall, our focus is to help customers make healthier choices – reformulation and calorie reduction in products is part of that,” a Tesco spokesperson said, as quoted by the Independent today.
Tesco is the UK’s largest seller of soft drinks, responsible for some 30 percent of sales, and so its move is being hailed as a landmark by health experts. Professor Graham MacGregor, professor of cardiovascular medicine at Queen Mary University of London and chairman of campaign group Action on Sugar (AOS), said he thought Tesco’s decision would spark a ‘revolution’ in the health agenda. Fellow supermarkets are now under pressure to follow suit amid claims from some medics that ‘sugar is the new tobacco’ in terms of the harm to health caused by over-consumption.
Tesco’s share price has been subdued so far today. As of 13:03 BST, the stock was trading 0.41 percent lower at 219.80p, easing following a rise yesterday, when demand for the shares was underpinned by speculation that the supermarket operator would begin the sales process for its South Korea unit in July.
As of 14:17 BST, Friday, 22 May, Tesco PLC share price is 219.88p.