CVS to swap candy at checkouts with better-for-you snacks

By Oliver Nieburg contact

- Last updated on GMT

CVS says it wants to help shoppers 'choose a healthier bite'. Photo: CVS
CVS says it wants to help shoppers 'choose a healthier bite'. Photo: CVS

Related tags: Retailing, Nutrition

US pharmacy retail chain CVS is to replace 25% of checkout space traditionally dedicated to candy with ‘better-for-you’ snacks at almost a third of its stores.

The drugstore chain – which stopped selling tobacco products in 2014 - is expanding its assortment of healthier foods and beverages after a successful trial at 500 outlets last year.

It will expand the initiative to 2,900 of its 9,600 locations.

“Throughout the year, 100 stores each week are being enhanced with a carefully curated selection of national and niche better-for-you brands that make healthier eating on-the-go, convenient and affordable,”​ said the company in a release.

KIND and Lara bars

From this summer, a quarter of retail space previously reserved for candy at these stores’ checkout zones will instead stock ‘better-for-you’ snacks such as Larabars, KIND bars and Vega One bars.

CVS Pharmacy said this was “to help shoppers choose a healthier bite to tide them over while running errands”.

ConfectioneryNews has asked CVS for more information on what constitutes a ‘better-for-you snack’.

The retail chain also pointed to up-and-coming paleo, raw and vegan trends and intends retail displays catering to products in these niches.

CVS added it will continue to run its Fit Choices in-store tagging program. The initiative, launched in 2014, guides shoppers to products that suit their dietary needs with labels such as Good Source of Protein, Heart Healthy, Gluten Free, Sugar Free, Organic and Non-GMO Project Verified.

Candy at checkouts

The majority of major UK supermarkets, including leader Tesco​, have banned confectionery at checkouts in recent years.

Bans followed a ‘Junk Free Checkouts‘​ campaign, led by the British Dietetic Association’s and the Children’s Food Campaign.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) began a similar campaign​ calling on US retailers to remove candy at cash counters in 2014.

In January, discount retailer ALDI USA​ said it would replace chocolate and candy at the checkouts at its nearly 1,500 US stores with nuts, trail mix, dried fruits and granola bars by the end of the year.

For more on the implications of checkout bans for the industry, see Euromonitor senior food analyst Pinar Hosafci’s GUEST POST.

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