Tesco to scrap 'added sugar' drinks before school returns
Tesco Ireland is set to remove a number of children's 'added sugar' Ribena and Capri Sun products.
The move will see Tesco stores across the country remove small added-sugar cartons, ranging between 150ml and 330ml.
The store has been in negotiation with a number of different companies including Ribena and Capri Sun, to replace the sugary drinks with non-added sugar versions for the coming school year, according to a spokeswoman.
"We can confirm that we will continue to sell no-added sugar versions of branded kids' category drinks, including Ribena and Capri Sun, in place of the full sugar versions," Tesco said.
"At Tesco we are committed to helping our customers to lead healthier lives by providing them a range of products that allows them to make healthy choices.
"We have an ongoing sugar and salt reduction programme in place that aims to reduce the added sugar and salt in our own-label foods, particularly in our kids' category drinks, and we are working with our suppliers to introduce a larger range of branded low-sugar and no-added sugar drinks," the spokeswoman added.
The initiative began in the UK earlier in the summer.
Professor of Public Health at University College Cork Ivan Perry said the move is a step in the right direction, but has called for a tax to be introduced on sugar-sweetened drinks.
"It's a somewhat positive development and shows some sensitivity to the issue, but what's also important to look at is the amount of sugar in the drink that could be considered non-added," said Mr Perry.
"All of these drinks are a major source of empty calories for kids and we have pretty conclusive evidence that these kind of drinks are making a not insignificant contribution to obesity in children.
"We really need to begin to look at bringing in a tax on sugar-sweetened drinks.
"Mexico is one of the most recent countries to do so, with a 10pc tax, and Ireland needs to follow suit, but what Tesco is doing is a start," he told the Herald.