A number of retailers in Scotland have pledged to help consumers more easily hit the recommended target of eating at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.

The Scottish Retail Consortium announced yesterday (21 July) that eight retailers have signed up to the plan that is set to see an increase in the proportion of fruit and vegetable ingredients in private-label products.

Asda, Boots, The-Co-operative, Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, Sainsbury's Tesco and Waitrose 

The plan, that is being supported by the likes of Asda, The Co-operative Group and Marks and Spencer, will involve keeping fresh produce affordable through special offers and value ranges.

The retailers, which also include Morrisons, Sainsbury's and Tesco, will look to give customers more information to help them understand the benefits from frozen and fresh fruit and vegetables.

It will also mean offering fruit and vegetables in places where people will be encouraged to make impulse purchases and making sure there are ranges of pre-prepared and ready-to-cook vegetables available to increase convenience for families.

Commenting on the plans, which are also being backed by Boots and Waitrose, Scottish Retail Consortium director Ian Shearer said: "The obesity challenge facing Scotland is considerable and retailers are committed to helping the Scottish government put a long-term strategy for tackling the problem into action.

"The advice to eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day is well known, not least because of the efforts major retailers have already put into promoting the message."

The initiative is a response to the Scottish government's "obesity route map", a strategy to tackle obesity.

Sport minister Shona Robison, who is responsible for the scheme, said: "Scotland is leading the way on this initiative, a key part of our Obesity Route Map strategy, and I am delighted that our work with retailers, producers and the food industry will help improve the availability of healthier foods. By enabling consumers to make informed choices about what is best to eat and the benefits of fruit and vegetables, this commitment from Scotland's retailers can help improve diet and tackle unhealthy weight."