Supermarkets 'Still Promote Junk To Children'
Britain's biggest supermarkets have been accused of undermining parents' efforts to feed their children with healthy foods.
Asda, Morrisons and Iceland have been named the "worst offenders" by the Children's Food Campaign (CFC) as they were found to display unhealthy food items or drinks at over 80% of their checkouts.
The CFC also criticised the Co-operative, Sainsbury's, Tesco and Waitrose for making families queue past displays of unhealthy snacks to reach the tills.
The report found that not a single supermarket had healthy food options promoted at its checkouts.
Only Sainsbury's confirmed a policy of not selling "impulse confectionery" at their main checkouts, but added that they did display "gifting confectionery or seasonal lines".
Non-food retailers such as HMV, New Look, Superdrug and WHSmith were also accused of displaying chocolates in the queuing area near the checkouts by the CFC.
Netmums founder Siobhan Freegard said: "Ofcom regulations on what kinds of food can be advertised to children and transparency over additives, but when it comes to the simple issues of junk food on display by the checkout we are back to where we started 10 years ago."
But Andrew Opie, food director of the British Retail Consortium, defended supermarkets and said: "Retailers are doing a great deal to promote healthy eating in their stores.
"Focusing on how products are sold in one part of some stores ignores the bigger, positive picture."
Several high-street stores and supermarkets have promised to reduce the high level of snack promotions, but the survey found that many stores across London promoted junk food at children's eye level.
CFC spokeswoman and co-author of the report Sophie Durham said: "Supermarkets claim to be responsible retailers, yet they continue to put their profits ahead of families' health."
In response to the report, supermarket chain Asda, said: "We sell a wide range of products on our checkouts from batteries to bags for life."
A spokeswoman for the Co-operative Group said: "We are committed to avoiding direct marketing and advertising to children of all products that are high in fat, sugar and salt.
"Over a decade ago, we removed all children's characters from own-brand packaging classed as HFSS, with the exception of seasonal and special occasion products."
Meanwhile, new research by Kantar Worldpanel showed that Tesco's market share slipped to 30.7% in the 12 weeks to April 15, compared to 30.9% a year earlier.
The chain lost its market share to low-cost grocers such as Aldi, Lidl and Iceland.
Asda saw its market share grow from 17% to 17.6%, but this was flattered by its purchase of 147 Netto stores and Sainsbury's held its third-place at 16.6%.
The overall grocery market grew by 5% in value in the period, the highest level of growth since January 2010, but this was mainly driven by higher food prices.