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Identifying and understanding the factors that can transform the retail environment to enable healthier purchasing by consumers

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Identifying and understanding the factors that can transform the retail environment to enable healthier purchasing by consumers.

Food Standards Scotland (FSS) commissioned the University of Stirling to conduct a review to provide an assessment of the current evidence base on retailing. The project aimed to provide FSS with an overview of how food and drink retailing currently works in Scotland and identify factors that could enable healthier purchasing by consumers.

The authors’ recommendations include:

  • The Soft Drinks Industry Levy should be applied more widely to encourage product reformulation and product sizing.
  • Information provision should be standardised and made more visible and legally enforceable to aid consumer decision making, increasing awareness of health risks and reducing confusion using imagery and promotional messages.
  • Engage with retailers to develop ‘trial’ stores to test out alternative approaches, such as cumulative nudging, positive, regulatory and restrictive ideas combined with academic evaluations
  • Consideration should be given to the introduction of a Food Retail Standard to rebalance promotion and provision between healthy and unhealthy products.
  • The retail sector should not be regulated in isolation and all interventions to consider impacts within and across sectors.
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