The portion of fruit and vegetables sold increased by 78% when available at a reduced price, initial data from a trial conducted in Sainsbury’s by the IGD has revealed.
IGD teamed up with the food and consumer goods industry and the University of Leeds to study in-store behaviour change and identify factors that could drive consumers towards healthier, more sustainable food and drink choices.
As a part of the trial, around 101 Sainsbury’s stores reduced the price of fruit and vegetables to 60p for a four-week period in January 2020 and January 2021.
IGD CEO, Susan Barratt, said, “This report explores our initial findings, which already shows a positive impact through nudge tactics, pricing, and product placement.
“This is a hugely exciting project, demonstrating the genuine opportunity our industry has to make healthy and sustainable diets easier and more accessible for everyone.”
As well as the number of promoted fruit or vegetables purchased, fruit and vegetable sales also increased beyond the items on offer, IGD added.
The findings showed that promoted fruit and vegetable sales declined after the promotions ended, although the rate of decline reduced year on year, suggesting some consumers carried their healthier eating habits forward.
Barratt added, “Obesity is one of the biggest health problems this country faces. Just 1% of the UK population currently meets government healthy eating guidance.
“With our diets having such a huge impact on our health and our planet, now is the time for government, the food and consumer goods industry, and shoppers to take collective action. The most impactful way to make a difference is to change what we eat and drink.”
Further findings from the study, examining whether consumers continued to eat more fruit and vegetables in the year after the trial, will be reported in 2022.
According to a 2021 study by Appetite for Change, 37% of consumers say that cost prevents them from eating a healthy, sustainable diet.