Methodology for the UK Retailer Index 2022 now online!10 May 2021
Today ATNI has published the methodology for the UK Retailer Index 2022, the first full Access to Nutrition Index to address food retailers – all other ATNI Indexes to date assess food and beverage manufacturers – which are a crucial link in the food supply chain with significant influence over consumers’ purchasing decisions.
All food supply chain actors have a long way to go to address key nutrition challenges in the UK. The 2019 Health Survey for England found that 28% of adults were obese, with an additional 36% being overweight, and that 18% of boys and 13% of girls live with obesity. The diets of adults and children alike contain too many foods high in saturated fat, salt and sugar, and too little fruit, vegetables and fibre and are not aligned with the Eatwell Guide, the UK government’s recommended healthy diet.
Improving the food environment, both in physical stores and online, so that everyone has access to affordable, healthy foods and drinks is necessary to improve people’s diets. Urgent action is therefore needed to transform the UK’s food system, where too often unhealthy foods and drinks are the most affordable and easy options. As outlined in part one of the National Food Strategy, published in 2020, diets in the UK are not fit for purpose: ‘there is a lot of work to do if we are to rebuild a food system that delivers safe, healthy, affordable food to everyone … This work must start now.’ ATNI intends to play its part in tackling the UK’s diet-driven health crisis by rating the contribution made by major UK food retailers to addressing poor nutrition, by sharing best-practices and by tracking improvements over time.
The Access to Nutrition UK Retailer Index 2022 is the result of ATNI’s partnership with ShareAction and its Healthy Markets Initiative. This partnership started in 2019, with the publication of the UK Product Profile, and continued during 2020, leading to the UK Supermarket Spotlight, which analysed the disclosure of the 10 largest supermarket chains on diet, nutrition and health. Similarly, the ATNI UK Retailer Index 2022 is funded by ShareAction through a grant from Impact on Urban Health, part of Guy’s & St Thomas’ Foundation.
This Index will assess the 11 largest food retail chains in the United Kingdom, the same 10 assessed in the UK Supermarket Spotlight ALDI UK, Asda, Co-op, Iceland, Lidl GB, Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose – plus the rapidly growing online-only retailer Ocado – which together hold over 96% of the UK grocery market share.
Similarly to the UK Supermarket Spotlight, this Index will assess retailers on the following eight Topics:
- Topic 1 – Governance
- Topic 2 – Nutrient Profiling Model
- Topic 3 – Product formulation
- Topic 4 – In-store promotion, pricing and distribution
- Topic 5 – Media and on-pack advertising
- Topic 6 – Accessibility of nutritional information and labelling
- Topic 7 – Engagement with stakeholders and policymakers
- Topic 8 – Infant and young child nutrition
Whilst the UK Supermarket Spotlight only assessed publicly disclosed information, during the research process for this Index, all 11 retailers will be invited to share additional information on ATNI’s research platform, thus allowing for a more comprehensive assessment of company policies and performance. As reflected in the list above, each Topic is weighted according to its importance in fostering the consumption of a healthy diet.
As the methodology published today sets out, research for the UK Retailer Index 2022 will take place in spring/summer 2021, led by ATNI research analysts with contributions from the retailers through the interactive data-collection process (using a confidential online data-gathering platform). The full Index will be published in the first quarter of 2022.