Health campaign coaxes consumers to make right choices

National 1 minute, 45 seconds


HEALTHIER food choices that are more identifiable in supermarkets have shown a positive impact on consumer choices, according to research conducted by the Ministry of Health.

The research was carried out following the initiation of last year’s Healthy Supermarket Programme.

According to the research’s findings, there was an 18 per cent increase in consumer awareness amongst Hua Ho Manggis Mall consumers regarding healthier food choices within six months of the programme’s launch.

The ministry’s Deputy Permanent Secretary (Professional and Technical), Dr Hjh Rahmah Hj Md Said, revealed this in her welcoming remarks yesterday at the launch of the Hua Ho Manggis Mall’s month-long health awareness campaign.

Involving 122 consumers, the voluntary survey focused on whether consumers had made use of labels and friendly reminders of healthier options regarding the various food choices available at the selected supermarket.

As a result of the programme, analysis showed that the percentage of consumers who were more aware of healthier choices rose from 59 per cent to 77 per cent. Additionally, more than 52 per cent of consumers who had personally seen the labelled supermarket shelves were more inclined to purchase the labeled foodstuff.

An increase in sales was also recorded in the first month of last year’s Healthy Supermarket Programme with healthy food sales increasing as much as 18 per cent but had shown fluctuations in its third and sixth month.

The third month showed a 3.3 per cent decrease in sales while sales returned back to pre-programme sales during the sixth month.

“Such information shows us that programmes like these that are aimed at promoting healthier food options cannot be done for short-term periods only,” said Dr Hjh Rahmah.

It is important, she said, to ensure that consumers can easily identify which foodstuffs are healthier and better for them to not only help them make a better choice but to make healthy eating more appealing.

The month-long programme which has already started is expected to run until September 27 from 10 am to 6.30 pm at the Hua Ho Manggis Mall supermarket. It carries the theme, ‘Shop Healthier, Live Healthier’.

The Brunei Times