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Three Out Of Big Four Suffer As Supermarket Price Wars Push Grocery Inflation To Rock Bottom
The latest grocery share figures from Kantar Worldpanel for the 12 weeks ending 17 August, show that grocery price inflation has fallen for the eleventh consecutive period, standing at just 0.2% – the lowest level since October 2006, when Kantar Worldpanel began this specific measure.
Edward Garner, director at Kantar Worldpanel explains: “Competitive pricing among the big grocers and deflation in the price of staple items such as vegetables, milk and bread has driven inflation down yet again. This naturally impacts on the overall growth of the grocery market, which has fallen to a 10 year record-low of 0.8%.”
Despite tough market conditions Asda, Waitrose and Farm Foods have all performed ahead of the market in terms of growth, with both Asda and Waitrose boosting market share to 17.2% and 4.9% respectively compared with the same period last year.
Edward continues: “Asda and Waitrose have achieved growth with differing strategies. Asda has pushed its “Price Lock” strategy to keep prices on everyday essential items low, while Waitrose is running competitive offers on home delivery alongside offers for myWaitrose card users allied to its overall quality and provenance positioning.”
Meanwhile, Aldi and Lidl have maintained their record shares of 4.8% and 3.6% respectively, mainly thanks to some 53% of households in Great Britain shopping at either outlet over the past 12 weeks.
With the exception of Asda, the big four are feeling the squeeze as Tesco and Morrisons shares remain under pressure, while Sainsbury’s has suffered a small drop in share from 16.5% to 16.4% as its sales growth lags behind the market at 0.3%.
New Research Shows Food Not To Blame For Nation's Obesity
New research finds UK's rise in obesity has been primarily caused by a decline in physical activity.
The rise in obesity amongst the UK population has been primarily caused by a decline in physical activity.
Using government figures, this new study debunks the popular belief that the rise in obesity in recent decades is the result of increased calorie consumption in general, and sugar in particular.
In The Fat Lie, Christopher Snowdon studies evidence from DEFRA, the National Diet and Nutrition Survey, the ONS and the British Heart Foundation, finding that all the evidence indicates that per capita consumption of sugar, fat and calories has been falling in the UK for decades.
Despite public health campaigners portraying Britain’s obesity ‘epidemic’ as a result of increased availability of junk food, this conventional wisdom has no basis in fact. People have reduced the number of calories they consume, but have reduced the amount they move around even more.
Key statistics: * Since 2002, the average body weight of English adults has increased by two kilograms. This has coincided with a decline in calorie consumption of over 4% and a decline in sugar consumption of nearly 7.5%.
* Of food eaten outside the home, daily calories consumed have fallen from 310 in 2001/02 to 219 in 2012, a drop of nearly one hundred calories per day in ten years.
* Data for eating out does not go back prior to 2000, but we do know that Britons were consuming more calories in the home in 1974 than Britons consumed in and outside the home combined in 2012.
* Despite falling calorie intake, average body mass has increased by 5 kilograms since 1993. The crucial missing variable, often overlooked by campaigners, is energy expended.
* Britons walk an average of 179 miles a year, down from 255 miles in 1976 and also cycle less; averaging 42 miles a year compared to 51 miles in 1976. 40% of people report spending no time even walking at work. The rise of office jobs and labour saving devices means people have fewer opportunities for physical activity, both at work and at home
Key findings: * ‘Big Food’ is not to blame: Food supply is a more inviting target for health campaigners than the sedentary lifestyles of the general public. A war on the food industry requires no stigmatisation of individuals and there are a readymade set of policies available which have been tried and tested in the campaigns against tobacco and alcohol. * Under-reporting of eating habits does not change conclusions: Although measuring the diet can be difficult because people tend to downplay the amount they eat, the question is not whether people under-report but the extent to which under-reporting has changed over time. It is extremely unlikely people have become so forgetful that the large and virtually uninterrupted fall in calorie consumption reported in successive studies can be explained by misreporting. * A one-size-fits-all response is not the solution: The fact that Britons, on average, are eating fewer calories does not mean that everybody is eating less, but we should be sceptical about those who claim that reducing calorie intake across the population will lead to less obesity. That clearly hasn't happened in the past.
Commenting on the report, its author, Christopher Snowdon, said: “The root cause of Britain’s rising obesity levels has not been a rise in calorie intake but a rise in inactivity. With obesity now featuring so heavily in the media it is worrying that so few people know that our largely sedentary lifestyles, not our appetites, have been the driving force behind the UK’s expanding waistlines.
“Campaigners promoting a healthy lifestyle should refocus their efforts towards encouraging exercise and away from a war on food. Anti-market policies aimed at the whole population such as fat taxes will do nothing for the nation’s health.”
CASH Survey Finds Ready-To-Eat Healthy Salads Have Unhealthy Levels Of Salt
Huge amounts of salt continue to be added to many restaurant, café and supermarket salads, according to a new survey by Consensus Action on Salt & Health (CASH).
This is despite calls in 2010 to lower salt in salads, as certain restaurateurs and food manufacturers continue to sneak in large amounts of unnecessary salt when it comes to serving up their ‘healthier’ dishes and raising the nation’s blood pressure.
CASH surveyed 650 ready-to-eat salads available for purchase from supermarkets, restaurants, cafés and fast food restaurants and found nearly three quarters (77% - 511 products) to contain more salt than a packet of crisps (0.5g/portion).
Of the out of home salads: * Pizza Express’ ‘Grand Chicken Caesar Salad’ contains an astonishing 5.3g salt/serving, the equivalent of two and a half Big Macs [Ref 3], and almost your whole days’ worth of salt (6g) in just one meal. * Pizza Express' ‘Warm Vegetable & Goats Cheese Salad’ containing 5g salt/serving - four fifths (83%) of your maximum recommended intake. * Wagamama’s ‘Lobster Super Salad’ contains 4.5g salt/serving – three quarters (75%) of your salt limit for the day in just one meal. * Nando’s ‘Mediterranean Salad with Chicken Breast’ which sounds like the healthy option contains a whopping 4.00g salt/serving, that’s two thirds (67%) our maximum recommended intake. * A McDonald’s ‘Crispy Chicken & Bacon Salad’ has MORE salt (1.3g vs 1.2g), fat (19g vs 8g) and calories (380kcal vs 250kcal) per portion than a McDonald’s Hamburger.
Of the supermarket salads, examples of those with the largest amount of salt/serving include: * Morrisons ‘Chicken & Bacon Pasta Salad’ 2.8g salt/290g serving Marks & Spencer ‘Chicken, Bacon & Sweetcorn Pasta Salad’ 2.58g salt/380g serving * Boots ‘Delicious Simply Tuna & Sweetcorn Pasta Salad’ 2.25g salt/300g serving * John West ‘Light Lunch Moroccan Style Salmon Salad’ 2.2g salt/220g serving
What’s interesting is that even the specially created foods which target the health conscious shopper e.g. superfood and detox salads, can also contain a high salt content. For example:
* Pod ‘Chicken Detox Box’ contains 4.0g salt/serving (two thirds of our Reference Intake (RI)) * Pizza Express under 500 calories ‘Leggera Salmon Salad’ contains 2.4g salt/serving (40% RI)
If you read the label, you can find lower salt options, however over one in ten (15%) salads would get a red (high) colour for salt, and two thirds (69%) would receive an amber (medium) colour. The survey found some salads surveyed with the much less salt added included a mixture from both restaurants and supermarkets, for example:
NB. These are examples of salads where portion sizes are the whole packet and dressing is included
Sonia Pombo, a nutritionist at CASH explains, “Say the word ‘salad’ and you tend to imagine a bowl of healthy stuff nestled amongst some leaves, but that’s not accurate. Whilst salad itself is both healthy and tasty, food manufacturers and restaurants continue to add unnecessary salt to the dish, which not only alters the taste and makes you feel bloated, but more seriously, can lead to high blood pressure – the main cause of strokes and heart attacks.”
In 2010, CASH conducted a similar salad survey and thankfully the average salt content in supermarkets salads has reduced significantly by 35% since 2005, from 1.64g/portion to 1.26g/portion in 2010 and to 1.05g/portion in 2014.
Graham MacGregor, CASH Chairman and Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at the Wolfson Institute, Queen Mary University of London says “It is nonsensical that something as seemingly healthy as a salad should contain an ingredient that is proven to be harmful to your health. Whilst we congratulate the responsible manufacturers that have gradually reduced the salt in their products, we urge ALL manufacturers to sign up to the Department of Health’s 2017 salt pledge [Ref 8] and to cut the salt in their dishes now. Many salads are deceptively high in salt, and the very large variation of salt content shows that the highest ones can easily be reduced. The food industry needs to show much greater responsibility for its customers' health.”
Victoria Taylor, Senior Dietitian at the British Heart Foundation, says: “It’s not unreasonable to think that if you pick a salad it’s going to be a healthy choice. But this survey shows in some cases what you see might not always be what you get. A colourful salad full of vegetables may look like a healthy way towards your 5-a-day but what you can’t see is the salt content which, in some cases, could amount to almost a whole day’s worth in one portion. It’s good to see progress is being made to drive down our salt intake, but there’s still work to be done. That's why clear, colour-coded labelling on food packaging is so important to help people make more positive, informed choices about what they eat.”