Tesco To Axe Ribena, Capri-Sun And Rubicon In An Attempt To Tackle Child Obesity

27/07/2015 11:04 BST | Updated 27/07/2015 17:59 BST

Ribena and other sugary drinks will be axed by UK supermarket Tesco in a bid to tackle childhood obesity, a new report has revealed.

Other drinks including Capri-Sun and Rubicon will also be removed from shelves starting from 7 September after children have gone back to school.

The crack down on sugary drinks was welcomed by health campaigners who are hoping other large supermarkets will follow in their lead.

The decision to remove the drinks was announced in the trade magazine, The Grocer.

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The Grocer said Tesco announced in May that it is aiming to improve the healthiness of its own-label range as well as pledging a reduction in sugar across the soft drinks category.

Tesco's soft drinks buying manager David Beardmore told The Grocer: "This is part of our 10-point plan against obesity and we have decided that from September we will only sell no-added-sugar drinks in the kids' juice category.

Health campaigner, Professor Graham MacGregor, chairman of Action on Sugar told The Grocer that the move was "great news".

MacGregor hopes other larger supermarkets will follow suits.

A spokeswoman for Lucozade Ribena told the magazine that they felt it was important to offer a choice to parents.

She added that the brand will have no-added-sugar flavours available in multi-pack cartons soon.

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Sources had initially suggested Jucee-branded drinks would be also be affected by the range reset.

However, brand owner Princes has since clarified this is not the case. Joanna Watling, Princes marketing director with responsibility for Jucee, said: "Jucee is 100% no added sugar across the entire range and has been since June 2015. Jucee has never had added sugar in its lunchbox ranges and the final products which became no added sugar in June 2015 were from the full-size squash range.

"We believe that the decision made by Tesco to reduce sugar in their soft drinks offering is particularly positive and we fully support their desire to reduce sugar in drinks."

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However, although Adam Leyland, editor of The Grocer agreed with the idea that it was a sensible idea to tackle child obesity, he questioned "where it would end".

Writing in The Grocer he said: "Tesco's moves for now stay well clear of the fizzy soft drinks category, which many in the health lobby are gunning for - although Tesco has said this is the start of a broader clampdown across its entire soft drinks line-up.

"Yet as Tesco's crusade gathers pace, it could face hostility on a number of sides, not least on the basis of consumer choice."

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