Woolworths’ sweet and chocolate removal in full swing

Following on from an announcement in August that it would be removing sweets and chocolates from its checkout aisles, Woolworths has revealed that the first stage of the initiative has been completed.

“All the sweets and chocolates in the checkout aisles in 104 stores have been replaced with better snacking options. This is more than initially committed as it includes a number of medium and small stores over and above new and large format stores. These stores represent  50% of total Woolworths sweets and chocolate sales and include our Canal Walk, Constantia, Sandton, Tygervalley, Gateway, Hazeldean, and Eastgate stores, to name a few,” explained Woolworths in a statement.

Spencer Sonn, managing director of foods at Woolworths, pointed out that the company is ahead of schedule with regards to the number of stores that were expected to have sweets and chocolates removed from checkout aisles at this time.

Sonn said: “The progress made to date is ahead of where we planned to be at this stage of our roll-out. This is a huge transformation for our business and demonstrates our commitment to our Good Food Journey, by providing healthier options for children and parents at the checkout aisles. We have been overwhelmed by the positive response to our initial announcement and we are thrilled to be able to update our customers on the next phase of our programme.”

What’s there now?

Woolworths has replaced the sweets and chocolates that used to populate the checkout aisle with healthier snack alternatives. The company highlighted that it engaged with customers on what alternative snacks they would like to see in the checkout aisles. These now include things such as dried fruit, biltong, and nuts.

The company notes that the next phase of the process is for Woolworths to relocate the sweets away from the checkout aisles and into the food market. An additional 62 stores in South Africa and Africa are to undergo this process by the end of June 2016. That represents 70% of total Woolworths’ sweets and chocolate sales, and 50% of all stores, according to Woolworths. The remaining stores are aimed to be completed during the course of 2016/2017.

“We are very pleased with the progress we’ve made and that many of our customers shopping in our stores will experience better snack choices at our checkout aisles when they are doing their Christmas shopping this year,” noted Sonn.