Buying pizza? Expect a healthy reminder from Tesco: Supermarket giant will use loyalty card data to see who is eating what
- The system will use Clubcard data to check what shoppers are eating
- Tesco said it wanted to play its part in battling the growing obesity crisis
- Might offer vouchers for healthier products and promoting a better diet via suggested recipes
Tesco will monitor the shopping habits of customers who want to slim and advise them on how to eat more healthily.
The system will work by using Clubcard data to check whether shoppers are loading up on doughnuts, chocolate and pizzas.
The supermarket giant said it wanted to play its part in battling the growing obesity epidemic.
Data: Tesco are to use their Clubcard technology to evaluate what everyone is eating
Tesco boss Phil Clarke said he would draw on the vast database of customer information held in Tesco’s Clubcard loyalty scheme, which has around 16million members.
Tesco hasn’t decided how it will use the information, but options include offering vouchers for healthier products and promoting a better diet via suggested recipes.
‘Our customers have told us they’d like help in choosing healthy options, so on an individual level, we want to see whether customers would welcome tailored suggestions for how they could shop more healthily.’ Mr Clarke promised that customers would need to ‘opt in’, rather than being bombarded by unwanted suggestions from the supermarket.
‘We won’t encourage healthier lifestyles by editing choices, but we can influence choice by making healthier options,’ he said.
Unhealthy: They want to find out how many people are eating bad food such as pizzas, doughnuts and chocolate
The supermarket’s technology experts have built an online tool - dubbed the ‘healthy little differences tracker’ - that will measure how customers’ habits change as a result of the healthy eating drive.
It is also expected to contribute data on customers’ eating habits to government research into obesity.
Only anonymous data will be passed to health research organisations, unless customers volunteer to submit their details and waive their right to anonymity.
Tesco, which has already teamed up with charity Diabetes UK to research diet patterns, said that some 65 per cent of its customers said their lifestyle isn’t as healthy as they would like.
One other major supermarket, which asked not to be named because the plans are at an early stage, said it was conducting trials of new store layouts to encourage healthier eating.
A source at the supermarket said it had drafted in behavioural psychologists to come up with ‘nudge tactics’ to coax shoppers into the fruit and vegetable aisle.
Tesco’s plan to use Clubcard information to target obesity is part of its Tesco and Society campaign, a broader effort to show that the supermarket is contributing to British life.
Britain’s largest supermarket has already met one of its targets by reducing the number of calories sold in its own-brand soft drinks last year by one billion.
And Mr Clarke said that Tesco would also put pressure on food producers to follow suit.
Campaign: Tesco want to encourage shoppers to eat a more healthy and balanced diet.They have suggested that they might offer deals on better food
‘We want to take others with us, including suppliers,’ he said.
Tesco has also thrown its weight behind government plans to introduce a universal label on the front of packaging, informing buyers of how much fat, sugar and salt they contain.
And the supermarket has also stepped up efforts to reduce the amount of food that is wasted every day in Britain.
Mr Clarke said last week that the average British family was wasting £700 of food a year.
He said Tesco would help by cutting down on promotions that encourage customers to buy large amounts of food that has only a very short shelf life.
Tesco’s campaigns on food waste and obesity come with the reputation of supermarkets at a low ebb, after horsemeat was found in food sold by a string of major retailers.