Over a third of food and drink on special offer is high in sugar, fat or salt

Safefood research finds shoppers want fewer offers on ‘treats’ and more on fresh produce

Safefood’s study looked at almost 70,000 food products on special offer. Photograph: Getty Images

Safefood’s study looked at almost 70,000 food products on special offer. Photograph: Getty Images

 

More than a third of the food and drink on special offer in Irish supermarkets is high in sugar, fat or salt, according to newly published research.

This figure rises to 56 per cent in convenience stores, the research from Safefood found.

The study looked at almost 70,000 food products on special offer and was compiled through interviews with retailers and shoppers, accompanied shopping trips and a consumer survey.

Price reductions made up 59 per cent of the discounted market while multi-buys offers made up 24 per cent of the products sold at a discount.

Bargain

“We know that everybody loves a bargain and shoppers involved in the research told us that they made use of promotional offers to help manage the household budget,” said Dr Marian O’Reilly, chief specialist in nutrition at Safefood.

“But with more than a third of foods on offer being unhealthy, it’s not surprising that last year Kantar data showed that the average household with children spend more on ‘treat’ foods than on fruit and vegetables.”

The research also claimed that shoppers wanted to see fewer promotions on things like confectionery , biscuits, sugary drinks and more frequent promotion of fruit and vegetables.

“These results highlight that people really don’t want to be tempted by unhealthy food offers, they’d much rather see healthy foods, and particularly fruit and vegetables, on special offer,” added Dr O’Reilly.