Malcolm Walker, Iceland

Malcolm Walker says it’s not his job to change the nation’s eating habits

Iceland does not have a duty to promote healthy eating, according to its CEO Malcolm Walker.

In the third part of the fly-on-the-wall documentary Iceland: Life in the Freezer Cabinet, Walker responds to claims Iceland still has a negative image by saying: “We are not Waitrose and it is not my job to change the health of the nation. We are here to make food people want to buy and to make a profit so we can open new stores, create more jobs and donate to more charities.”

The statement came despite the retailer’s drive to recruit more producers of fruit and vegetables, launched last year as fresh produce sales rose 12%.

Also in the episode, Walker rules out taking a leaf out of Aldi and Lidl’s book with a move into premium, admitting he is still “nervous” about taking the retailer upmarket.

The comments followed revelations in a previous episode that Iceland spends £400,000 a year on luxury dinners, including lobster cooked by a Michelin star chef, for staff at its Deeside HQ. When asked why head office didn’t use Iceland food, Walker smiles.

The episode airs this Monday at 9pm on BBC2.