Industry to back fruit and veg

Industry to back fruit and veg

UK food retailers will add more lines to their produce sections and manufacturers will put more fruit and veg in ready meals, the country's government has announced.

The moves come as part of the industry's so-called "public health responsibility deal" with the Government to tackle obesity in the UK.

UK retailer The Co-operative Group, one of 16 companies to have signed up to the pledge, said it will use promotions to encourage consumers to eat more fruit and veg.

A spokesperson said: "We will target customers who aren't spending money on fruit and vegetables and offer them money-off coupons on fresh, frozen and canned fruit and vegetables to encourage purchase.  This follows a recent trial, which resulted in a significant increase in redemption rates - 20% higher than for other, more typical money-off coupon campaigns, highlighting a real appetite among our customers for fruit and vegetables."

The Responsbility Deal was introduced in 2010 and has seen the UK government work with the food industry and other stakeholders to draw up policy to encourage consumers to exercise more and eat more healthily.

The policy is based on the concept of "nudging", where consumers are encouraged to live more healthily, and avoids introducing regulation to ban products or restrict consumer choice. Policy is developed by five networks that include representatives from the industry, the voluntary sector and the public health field.