Tesco to ban Ribena and Capri Sun in childhood obesity battle

Supermarket giant Tesco is battling childhood obesity and has revealed plans to axe a number of its best-selling sugary drinks and juices at stores nationwide.

Ribena in bottles. Photo: Rui Vieira/PA WIRE
Ribena in bottles. Photo: Rui Vieira/PA WIRE

A number of soft drinks with added sugar – such as Capri Sun and Ribena – will be replaced with healthier alternatives.

It was thought that Robinson’s Fruit Shoots would also be banned from stores but Tesco has since confirmed that they will continue to be sold.

But the change will only take place after children return to school from their summer holidays, according to trade magazine The Grocer.

Health campaigners have called on other supermarkets to follow Tesco’s lead in cracking down on sugary drinks, in an attempt to tackle childhood obesity.

David Beardmore, Tesco’s soft drinks buying manager, 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. Most of the suppliers are supportive of it and understand what we are doing.”

The Grocer also reported Tesco has committed to a five per cent year-on-year reduction in the amount of sugar in its soft drinks.

Tim Freed, editor of the Toddle About magazine, said: “In general it’s a very good decision. There are obviously issues with the amount of sugar we are in taking as a nation.

“Any move to help to reduce sugar is a welcome one. I definitely agree choice is an issue. In an ideal world everyone would be educated on the risks and make their own decisions.

“But at the same time there is a big issue with the amount of sugar children are eating and drinking.”