Chris Rose

Marketing director, Landmark Wholesale Says: Consumers are looking for healthy options without compromising on taste, value or convenience. Retailers should work with suppliers to offer a range of healthy alternatives to the main, top-selling brands - for example across snacks, drinks and confectionery. This healthy range should not be comparable in price to the standard range. Retailers also need to promote their healthy options. Last year Landmark Wholesale launched its 5-a-day initiative, aimed at helping independent retailers promote stores as places where consumers can conveniently pick up their 5-a-day needs. The campaign used PoS material to flag up areas such as fresh, tinned, frozen and juices. For those with the space, fresh fruit and vegetables can reassure consumers the store can meet their health needs. Carefully managed fresh fruit and vegetables can offer great profit margins for retailers and increase sales across other areas. Landmark's Lifestyle Direct drop-shipment service works with retailers to manage their fresh stock and delivers at a frequency that suits the retailer to help manage wastage and stock issues. Rosemary Hignett Head of nutrition, Food Standards Agency

Says: We want to make it easier for consumers to make healthier choices, particularly by choosing foods that are lower in salt, fat, saturated fat and sugar.

Small retailers can support this by stocking a variety of healthier foods and prominently displaying reduced fat or salt versions of popular products alongside less healthy options - for example putting bags of dried fruits next to the till alongside sweets and chocolate.

Customers that are interested in healthy eating are likely to want to buy a wide range of fruit and vegetables including fresh, frozen, dried or canned and starchy carbohydrate products such as wholegrain bread, pasta and rice.

Small retailers could maximise the potential by regularly changing their selection of fresh and dried fruit and vegetables to meet changing seasonal demands.

Retailers looking for advice on healthy eating and nutrition can go to, which includes information on issues such as food labelling and the importance of maintaining a healthy diet as well as details on the nutritional values of many different foods.

Saleem Yousf Retailer

Says: I don't think there is much advice out there to assist with an issue such as this. However, you can help yourself simply by knowing your own market.

Talking to your customers about what products they would like to see in the store and what they don't want to buy is the best way of doing that and also makes for a more friendly store environment.

This industry is driven by consumer demand so there is no sense in stocking a product if it is not sought after by your customers. In my case there is only a very limited demand for healthy products. Stocking healthy foods is difficult for smaller independent retailers as they tend to be picked up by shoppers during the regular supermarket visit.

As a result, I only stock a limited amount of snacking-style products that can be grabbed when people are out on the run and don't have time to stop at a supermarket.

On-the-go products such as fresh fruit, vegetables, and low-fat snacking bars have proved to be a hit, but with my female customers rather than male, as have low-calorie soft drinks.