Lockers may hold the key

Sir: Although there may be some regrouping over strategy in online grocery (‘Asda goes back to basics in major strategy u-turn’ 24 October) it’s very clear that the market is continuing to grow rapidly.

According to the IGD, online grocery is now worth £8.9bn and with 26% of shoppers now using click & collect the industry needs new ways to become more efficient. Home delivery models have been squeezed to optimise efficiency but it’s still not clear if they provide an economically attractive way forward and that’s where click & collect lockers help; they turn a delivery route, stopping at perhaps 20 different locations to 20 different customers, into a single delivery drop. The driver and delivery vehicle then get on with their next delivery drop as the 20 consumers pick up their groceries from the temperature-controlled locker. They cut logistics costs and carbon emissions, make life more convenient for the consumer and may finally hold the key to efficient click & collect.

Dan Turner, CEO, ByBox Networks

Inaccurate on funding

Sir: I wish to respond to a Grocer piece (17 October) that repeated claims about me made in an earlier Times article regarding Coca-Cola’s funding of nutrition scientists.

The Times article sought to portray me as willing to twist evidence about sugar and obesity in return for money from Coke. This is wholly inaccurate.

The work I did for Coca-Cola in 2013 and 2014 involved chairing two stakeholder meetings on labelling, marketing and advertising, at which I fielded questions from the audience. At these events, I expressed no opinion about sugar, obesity or Coca-Cola’s products. In 2014, I also made two presentations on artificial sweeteners at Nursing in Practice conferences where, similarly, I gave no view on sugar and obesity. I have not conducted any research for Coca-Cola, nor have I written favourable reports for it.

Both articles refer to my finding that sugar and obesity were not correlated. This relates to a 2010 systematic review, funded by the Sugar Bureau and published in a peer-reviewed journal, which noted no consistent association between sugar intake and obesity but which highlighted a potential concern for sugar-sweetened beverages.

More recently, I found a similar lack of association when looking at government data. Both EFSA in 2010 and the SACN in 2015 found no association between daily added sugar consumption and body weight but noted a positive association with calorie consumption, as well as one between sugar-sweetened beverages and BMI. My findings were fully in line with expert opinion.

Freelance dietitians, such as myself, value their independence before any commercial gain and work within a code of conduct governed by the Health Care Professions Council.

Carrie Ruxton, PhD

Sugar tax is a must

Sir, Sugar tax - there is no debate! It is a necessity (‘PHE publishes long-awaited sugar report,, 22 October). As a nation, w We need to take greater consideration of what we drink and large sugar quantities need to be better policed as a ’negative’. We need to educate consumers and brands, especially in the juice sector, that high levels of sugar are damaging our nation’s health.

Our sector needs to be more responsible for the impact we’re having on the UK’s wellbeing. Naturally there is no single method that will be 100% effective. Of course the higher the tax increase the greater the impact, but we need to collectively do something to control this present situation and this is a good start. Fruit juice contains a lot of natural sugar and is why we use vegetables lower in natural sugar. The cold-pressed high pressure process enables our juices to also retain a higher level of nutrients and vitamins, while not altering taste profiles. We are carving out a stronger, healthier juice category.

That being said, awareness of sugar content needs to be a widespread action and relate to all areas of our health: dining in and out. For example, in addition to calories listed on menus, sugar content should also be referenced. We need to change consumers’ mind-sets and place sugar higher up on the agenda as a ‘food to watch out for’.More important still is that w We must ensure consumers understand what our daily sugar intake should be so they can self-monitor and food and diet becomes part of a deeper understanding of how we should look after ourselves. This proposed ‘sugar tax’ is one step in the right direction.

Philip Maddocks, MD of B.Fresh