The business – which is a leading health and beauty retailer in the country – has this week announced plans to remove all candy and chocolate from the checkouts at its 2,500 stores by the middle of next month.
Grocery businesses including Lidl, Aldi, Tesco, Waitrose and Marks & Spencer have already stopped selling confectionery at UK till points in the wake of consumer concerns over sugar.
The trend is also spreading to other side of the pond, with Aldi USA announcing in January that by the end of this year it will replace chocolate and candy at checkouts in almost 1,500 stores with nuts, trail mix, dried fruits and granola bars.
Healthier snacking options
Boots, which is part of the Retail Pharmacy International Division of Walgreens Boots Alliance, said it had already begun reducing the visibility of chocolate and sweets in its stores, including at till points. The retailer has also introduced more healthier snacking options.
“At Boots we know we have a vital role in supporting our customers to make healthy choices, and recognize the huge challenge that a busy lifestyle presents for them,” added a spokesman.
“Every week our colleagues provide care and advice to millions of customers and patients, and help them get the information, products, services and support they need to make the best choices they can.”
Market profile changing
Writing for this site earlier this month, Euromonitor analyst Pinar Hosafci, said such bans were changing the profile of confectionery in stores. Customers were now planning their visits to the dedicated confectionery aisles, which might partly explain the growth in sales of premium chocolate confectionery in Western markets.
“In the wake of this,” she added, “one way forward for confectionery manufacturers could be to reduce their reliance on impulse categories such as countlines and bagged softlines and divert more resources to tablets and boxed assortments.”