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Fighting Back Against Pester Power: The Parents’ Jury Healthy Checkouts Campaign

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twitter with words 2

Ring the changes at your local checkout – Donate a tweet to support The Parents’ Jury’s Healthy Checkout campaign.

You’ve steered the kids past the confectionary aisle, said ‘no’ to the end of aisle chocolate and refused the sugary cereal endorsed by sporting heroes, but there’s no avoiding the pester power to buy junk food at the checkout. Sound familiar?

Parents’ advocacy group, The Parents’ Jury is campaigning for Australian Retailers to remove confectionary, soft drinks and sugar sweetened beverages from the checkout in order to help make healthy choices the easy choice for parents.

Why Healthy Checkouts?

As parents we are charged with the responsibility of ensuring our children lead a healthy and active lifestyle, eat nutritious foods (most of the time) and maintain a healthy weight. Yet, without the support of health promoting environments, this can feel like an impossible task.

With an alarming 1 in 4 Australian children now overweight or obese it is more important than ever to make healthy choices the easy choice for parents.

Unfortunately, the junk food and retail industries undermine parents’ efforts to make healthy choices by making junk foods and drinks cheaper and more readily available than healthy foods. They also target children with marketing tactics that fuel pester power such as product placement at eye level, celebrity endorsement, tie-ins with popular movies, in store promotions and ‘advergames.’

A survey conducted by The Parents’ Jury found that one of parents’ pet marketing peeves is the placement of confectionary and sugar sweetened beverages at the checkout. More than 90 percent reported having been pestered to buy unhealthy products at the checkout. Unlike other areas of the store that can be avoided, parents must go through the checkout with their children which is why 70 percent said they would prefer to shop in a store where all checkouts are ‘healthy.’

Parents feel so strongly about the placement of junk food and drinks at the checkout that two thirds said they would switch to a similar store nearby if it provided healthy checkouts.
How can we create change at the checkout?

The good news is that the checkout environment is something we, as consumers, have the power to change. Supermarkets say that they will listen to and be guided by what their customers want.

In the UK, three major supermarket chains have committed to junk free checkouts based on customer demand and there is growing public pressure to replicate this in Australia. However, Aussie retailers have been slow to act, with Coles and Woolworths providing just one confectionary free checkout in each store.

Be a part of an Australian first – Donate a Tweet to the #HealthyCheckouts campaign

So far, no Aussie retailer has agreed to remove junk food and beverages from a minimum 50 percent of checkouts, but it is only a matter of time. Help get Healthy Checkouts across the line by tweeting your local retailer with one of the results from the Healthy Checkouts survey. Please tag @parentsjury in the post and include #HealthyCheckouts e.g.

@Coles 64% of parents would switch to a similar retail outlet nearby if it provided healthy checkouts #HealthyCheckouts @Parentsjury

@woolworths 77% of parents would prefer to shop where all checkouts are junk food free #HealthyCheckouts @Parentsjury

Make the change @ALDIAustralia 90% of parents have been pestered by kids for junk food at the checkout. #HealthyCheckouts @Parentsjury

If you would prefer to send a letter, we’ve made it easy by providing a template letter at For further information, contact [email protected] or call (03) 9667 1742.

Thanks in advance for your support.


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Jolene enjoys writing, sharing and connecting with other like-minded women online – it also gives her the perfect excuse to ignore Mount-Washmore until it threatens to bury her family in an avalanche of Skylander T-shirts and Frozen Pyjama pants. (No one ever knows where the matching top is!) Likes: Reading, cooking, sketching, dancing (preferably with a Sav Blanc in one hand), social media, and sitting down on a toilet seat that one of her children hasn’t dripped, splashed or sprayed on. Dislikes: Writing pretentious crap about herself in online bio’s and refereeing arguments amongst her offspring.

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