As of today, Target will remove junk food from the check out aisle in 30 stores as a pilot program that they hope to expand nationwide. They will be replacing them “healthier” options such as Kind bars and other convenience items.
They are not the only large-scale retailer looking to entice customers via a healthy image. CVS scaled back their junk food several months ago in over 500 stores as part of their play to expand their pharmacies and urgent care centers. Targets “Made to Matter” items make up $1 billion of their $75 billion in revenue, while healthier, they ultimately have profits in mind.
Does spiffing up an image with healthier processed food really improve health? Many snack bars contain unhealthy ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup. Often, they are no better than a candy bar so buyers still need to check.
Of course you can just make your own granola and control the sugar amounts to stay healthy. (Our own vanilla coconut granola recipe.)
How to Find Healthy Snacks in Big Box Stores
No matter how much we try, there will be times when you’re hungry and looking to grab something fast. So Target removes junk food from end caps, but is that healthier for you? How do you tell when the food is healthy, or at least good enough to tide you over until your next meal.
- Check the ingredient list. If any of the first four ingredients are sugar put it back. Not sure if it’s sugar, here’s our list of 41 names for sugar to help you sleuth the ingredients.
- Look for a snack or coffee bar. Many big box retailers have cafes. Our local Target has a Starbucks, go there first for healthier options. You can grab a fruit cup or a bowl of oatmeal.
- Look in the grocery section. The most appealing foods will be stationed at the checkout, that usually means chocolate/sugar choices meant to jump-start your taste buds. Often, healthier choices are in the grocery section, so explore and see if you can find better options.
What do you think about these changes in CVS, Target and other retailers? Will healthier choices at the checkout aisle really improve Americans health? When was the last time you bought something on the way out?