Retailers are being urged to crack down on early Easter egg sales to help tackle obesity after research revealed that half the British public have bought and eaten at least one Easter-related product despite there being over three weeks until Easter.
Research commissioned by the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) also found that 77% of people think supermarkets start selling Easter eggs and related treats too earlier.
57% of parents agree that their child has been tempted by Easter themed treats displayed near checkouts, while 68% of people said that holiday and special occasions are used too much to advertise and sell unhealthy food.
With the average Easter egg equating to almost three quarters of an adults recommended daily calorie intake, RSPH is calling for retailers to end pester power strategies by limiting how early they push seasonal products which are high in fat, salt and sugar, and to remove these from supermarket checkouts.
“We recognise that special occasions such as Easter are a time for indulgence and treats. However, it is clear that many shops and supermarkets are pushing products way too early – it isn’t uncommon to find Easter eggs on sale in the first week of January,” said Shirley Cramer, Chief Executive of RSPH.
“Our research suggests that the public find this mildly irritating and it is just putting unnecessary temptation out there, particularly for children.
“If supermarkets are serious about tackling the obesity epidemic, we would urge retailers to change their marketing strategies in the interest of the public’s health.”