Scheme promoting healthier products with margins of up to 70% due national rollout

Through the trial stores increased their healthier range by an average of 22%

Healthy food products

A scheme that sought to get more healthier products with margins of up to 70% into independent retailers and wholesalers is targeting national expansion. 

Between January 2021 and April 2022, 35 stores in Southwark, south London, participated in the Good Food Retail and Wholesale pilot. The shops were in areas with limited access to fresh groceries. 

These retailers worked with marketing firm Rice Marketing to add a dedicated range of healthier products from a selection of 100 lines low in salt, sugar and fat (see table), with most stores stocking between 31 and 50 lines. 

The marketing specialist also worked with Bestway for promotions of these lines in nearby depots. 

The participating shops reported “better than expected” sales of the healthier products and said they intended to keep selling them, while expanding the existing range. 

Through the trial, stores increased their healthier range by an average of 22%. 

Healthier lines shown to grow sales in the Good Food Retail and Wholesale project

  • Transform-a-Snacks 
  • Baked Wotsits 
  • Eat Natural bars 
  • Werthers Original sugar free 
  • 50:50 sliced bread 
  • 0% fruit drinks 
  • Alpro oat milk 
  • Alpro soya milk 
  • Jacob’s Crinklys 
  • Natural fruit and seeds
  • Baker Street Sliced Bread 
  • Volvic Water 
  • Pepsi Max 
  • Quaker Oats 
  • Graze Lemon Drizzle Flapjack 
  • Quorn Crispy Nuggets 
  • Diet Coke 
  • Walkers Oven Baked crisps

Meanwhile, the report revealed that sales of featured products in Bestway’s Croydon branch doubled week on week during a special promotional period in May, while Bestway Lewisham saw a nine-fold increase during the same time frame. Some products on promotion, such as Volvic, offered more than 70% margin to retailers. 

Described as a success in the report, the scheme is to continue in Southwark alongside plans to launch it in further depots for retailers in other cities, including Birmingham. 

Support will continue to be provided for Bestway, while the organisers of the pilot want to engage with Nisa, Booker and Dhamecha for a potential further rollout. 

Booker and Dhamecha declined to participate in the pilot, “despite apparent early interest from both”. The report added: “The current market conditions have consumed wholesalers’ attention and energy, and left little time for new initiatives. They are already lean, low-margin organisations.” 

The next phase will also see Rice Marketing work with retailers and councils to make Healthy Start vouchers available in stores and increase uptake among families living on low incomes. 

The vouchers give young families and those who are pregnant and on low incomes up to £8.50 per week to access healthy food, milk and vitamins from supermarkets and convenience stores. 

Previously available as paper vouchers, the scheme for England, Wales and Northern Ireland moved to digital cards in September 2021. Figures released this month reveal that uptake among those eligible for the scheme was 62.7% between September 2021 and March 2022, compared with 59.9% in August 2021. 

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