Grocery trade has plenty of opportunities to make healthier food choices easier for its customers. K Group is moving towards this goal with the health and nutrition programme that was published in January 2023.
The programme supports K Group’s updated sustainability strategy, which includes the goal to make healthier food choices easier for customers.
Various experts from K Group and beyond were consulted when preparing the programme. The healthiness goals focus on the biggest challenges in terms of national health and promote a diet that adheres to the nutrition recommendations.
Overall, Finns’ energy intake exceeds consumption. According to studies, consumption of excess salt and saturated fats, not eating enough vegetables, eating too much red and processed meat and not getting enough dietary fibre are the largest challenges of the Finnish diet that need to be changed (Ravitsemus Suomessa – FinRavinto 2017 research).
Up to nine out of ten adults eat too much salt; 86% of women and 98% of men exceed the daily recommendation of less than 5 grammes of salt. The amount of vegetables in the diet also falls short of the recommendations. Only 14% of men and 22% of women eat half a kilogram of vegetables a day. Increasing the use of vegetables and fish would improve the nutritional quality of grocery purchases and reduce the carbon footprint compared to the purchases of a person with an average omnivorous diet.
The goal of the health and nutrition programme is to make healthier food choices as easy as possible for the customer using three clear and measurable goals.
The goal of this programme is to challenge Finns to eat half a kilogram of vegetables a day, decrease the amount of salt, sugar and saturated fats in the Finnish diet, and increase the number of products and recipes that have been granted the Heart Symbol.
Our goal is that those people who mostly buy groceries from K food stores eat half a kilogram of vegetables a day by 2026, and all Finns by 2030.
The amount of added salt, sugar and saturated fat in Pirkka products is reduced by the end of 2025. The goal of reformulating the nutritional content to a healthier option is to reduce the amount of sugar by 200,000 kilograms, the amount of salt by 50,000 kilograms and the amount of saturated fat by 50,000 kilograms.
Healthier food choices are made easier at the grocery store by adding the Heart Symbol to at least 200 products from K Group’s own brands – Pirkka, Pirkka Parhaat and K Menu – simultaneously with renewing the packaging by the end of 2024. The Heart Symbols are also added to K-Ruoka recipes.