Lidl is trialling confectionary free checkout zones in a few stores in Germany, after a successful roll out of its healthy Tills in the UK. This saw it remove confectionery from the checkouts in all 600 stores. Racks of sweets and Sweets and chocolates will now be replaced with dried and fresh fruit, oatcakes and other healthy options.

The success of the trial in the UK means Lidl will consider it in other markets but only if it is something that resonates with the shopper conscience. In the UK, obesity, especially amongst children, continues to be a hot topic. Whilst it looks like a good PR stunt, it has also made financial sense for Lidl.

At the beginning of the trial, turnover of the Healthy Tills has been 100% higher than that of the standard tills. Healthy checkouts are helping to drive up the average basket. Simply put, volumes are being sold at a similar rate than previous dump stock but at a unit price significantly higher (a bag of seeds at £1.19 vs a chocolate bar at £0.39p.) As they continue to analyse the data Lidl will have a better idea of how profitable a strategy it will be over the long term. This means “Healthy Tills” could be coming to your market. This will present huge challenges as well as opportunities for suppliers.

If checkout zones are off limits, find other areas of the store (hot zones). Confectionary suppliers have been driving innovation around free standing display units (FSDUs) in discounters over the last few years. FSDUs will allow suppliers to be in other important parts of the store. Ask yourself how developed your pallet strategy actually is.

If your product doesn’t fall into the “unhealthy bucket,” there is a chance to push innovation around the checkout. The right display will engage with shoppers at a prime location in-store. However, remember the efficient model of discounters doesn’t allow for all checkouts to be open all the time. Analyse the risks and rewards.

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