Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Introductıon and objectives
Across the Northern Ireland concern about the perceived cost of achieving a healthy
diet for consumers has risen with the main barrier to eating a more healthy diet being
. In response consumers have adopted sophisticated shopping strategies whereby
food retail promotional offers dictate their shopping2
. Policy makers have recognised
the importance of retail food promotions in consumers’ food purchasing behaviour
and have committed to encouraging and enabling food retailers to “consider reducing
point of sale placement of foods which are high in fat, salt, sugar and increasing
exposure to promotion of healthier foods” as part of an obesity prevention strategy for
Northern Ireland - A Fitter Future for All: Framework for Preventing and Addressing
Overweight and Obesity in Northern Ireland 2012-20223
. The aim of this research
was to investigate the balance of healthy versus less healthy food retail promotions
among food retailers.
Research methods
A survey was designed to record information on food promotions. The survey
collected the following information on food items sold on promotion including: brand
name, pack size, promotional prominence, number of SKU’s on promotion,
promotional type, promotional price, pre-promotional price, and nutrition information
(Front of Pack labelling, Energy in kJ, Energy in kcal, Carbohydrate in grams, Sugar
in grams, Fat in grams, Sat Fat in grams, Salt in grams. Data collection was carried
out over two phase periods (pre and post-Christmas) in 48 stores across 8 retailers.
Data was collected through a survey using Hand held computer Aided Personal
Interview devices (HAPI) by fieldworkers from a marketing company. This software
utilised 3G technology, enabling the data to be uploaded immediately onto a server.
All data was inputted into the software package SPSS v.22 for analysis. A total of
6781 products were assessed based on the prominence, type of promotion (e.g.
BOGOF) and healthiness of each product item. Each product item was assigned
an individual nutrient (energy, sugar, fat, saturated fat and salt) from 1 to 3 [i.e. high
(red) =1, moderate (amber) =2 and low (green) =3] according to the FSA front of pack
(FOP) nutrient labelling methodology4
For all stores combined, the most significant site offering in-store promotions was the
‘end of aisle’. The main types of promotional offers with used were ‘price reductions’,
‘standalone offers’ and ‘multibuys’. Results reported a balance of healthy versus less
healthy nutritional quality (52.5% categorised as amber/green and 47.5% of products
categorised as red). Our results show that NI retailers are currently achieving a
balance in the healthiness of food retail promotions (red versus amber/green FOP
categories) however all parties agree that this should continue in the interest of
consumers by making the healthier choice the affordable and easy choice.
1. British Retail Consortium. (2009) British retailing: a commitment to health.
London: British Retail Consortium.
2. Mintel (2012) Pricing and promotions in food and drink. London: Mintel.
3. Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (2012) A fitter future for
all: framework for preventing and addressing overweight and obesity in Northern
Ireland 2012-2022. Belfast: Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety.
4. Food Standards Agency (2014) Food Information Regulations 2014: Summary
guidance for food business operators and enforcement officers in Scotland, Wales and
Northern Ireland. Available from:
[Accessed 25/08/15].
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication International Research Conference on Business Management (IRCBM)
Number of pages3
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 23 Nov 2017
Event International Research Conference on Business Management (IRCBM): IDM Nations Campus Lanka (PVT) Ltd - IDM Nations Campus Lanka (PVT) Ltd, Colombo , Sri Lanka
Duration: 23 Nov 201724 Nov 2017


Conference International Research Conference on Business Management (IRCBM)
Country/TerritorySri Lanka
Internet address


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