Get serious about health

Sir, Your category report on soft drinks shows consumers are turning their backs on sugary drinks, but obesity rates are still rising. Forcing companies to shift to low-sugar drinks and expecting this to fix the obesity epidemic is just wishful thinking.

If we want to get serious about keeping Brits active and healthy, the government needs to look at the food industry more broadly, particularly the fat and sugar content of food.

Sales data shows people will change their habits if they are given healthier alternatives. The government and food brands must take their responsibility seriously to create genuinely low sugar products, not just market them as such.

Alan Barratt, co-founder, Grenade

Invest in transparency

Sir, I read with great interest your piece ‘What H&M’s new transparency scheme can teach food and drink’.

There have never been more compelling reasons to strive for radical transparency. How can you guarantee food safety if you don’t know its provenance? A lack of transparency increases the risk of undetected slavery somewhere in the chain.

My research shows that of the top 200 food companies by turnover, above £36m, 10% have no modern slavery statement; a further 10% are out of date. We have the technology - time for financial and human investment.

Rick Sanderson, MD, Gate to Plate Compliance

Sainsbury’s: one to watch

Sir, At its best, the checkout process is a seamless point in the retail journey. At its worst, it can tarnish the experience.

News of Sainsbury’s launching the UK’s first till-free store is a step towards far greater convenience for British shoppers.

However, we still have a lot of catching up to do in the UK. The likes of Amazon Go in the US already allow customers to simply scan their phones on entry, shop and leave. Stores like Hema in China employ facial recognition technology.

With Sainsbury’s implementing innovations to tackle these moments of negative friction, the brand will definitely be one to watch as the rollout begins.

Aaron Shields, executive strategy director, Fitch