Swedish retailer ICA has launched a new health strategy focusing on three core areas: mental wellbeing, physical wellbeing, and the safe use of antibiotics.
Commenting on the initiative, Per Strömberg, ICA Gruppen chief executive, said the group has "a great responsibility, but also a great opportunity to contribute to positive development in society,” adding that that it can encourage customers to "make healthy choices."
One area that ICA hopes to positively impact is increasing the consumption of fruit and vegetables. Only 20% of consumers eat enough fruit and vegetables every day, studies have found, which are proven to reduce the risk of developing depression and mental illness, as well as providing important nutrients.
In contrast with this, four in ten people eat too much sugar, which can lead to a higher risk of serious health issues, such as diabetes.
Kerstin Lindvall, chief corporate responsibility officer at ICA Gruppen, said the group has "set a target that by 2025 at the latest, customers’ purchases of fruits and vegetables will correspond to consumption of 500 grams a day." The group also pledged to reduce the sugar content in its private label products.
An example of the measures to be introduced by the group to achieve its goals involves its pharmacy arm, Apotek Hjärtat, which will conduct internal training initiatives in the area of mental illness. It will work to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes by offering glucose tests at selected pharmacies.
ICA Real Estate will establish outdoor gyms, playgrounds, and other health solutions close to its properties, which it hopes will enhance the physical and mental wellbeing of its customers.
Other initiatives include an anonymous chat line to help with mental health, and therapy included in health insurance.
© 2021 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Conor Farrelly. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.