Posted on Tuesday 26 July 2016 by Centra

Through ‘live well’, centra removes 125M CALORIES from SHOPPER’S BASKETS AS CUSTOMERS SWITCH from sugary DRINKS TO HEALTHier ALTERNATIVES

#LiveWell @CentraIRL

Pippa O'Connor - Centra Live Well

26th July 2016: Ireland may be on track to becoming Europe’s fattest nation by 2030, according to the World Health Organisation; but today Centra have revealed research, conducted by RED C, that shows a shift in shopper behaviour towards healthier options. Centra’s findings show that two thirds of Irish adults admit to making more of an effort to live healthy compared to 12 months ago. 4 out of 5 people feel they are more conscious about their food intake compared to a year ago, with two thirds of the nation now admitting to consciously checking the ingredients in what they consume.

Anticipating shoppers’ needs, Centra have decreased shelf space for sugary drinks over the past 12 months and promoted healthier alternatives instead, helping to reduce the calorie intake of their customers by 125 million calories. This is the equivalent of 7.8 million spoons of sugar taken out of shoppers baskets in the past year. This achievement forms part of Centra’s Live Well programme, which launched 12 months ago, and encourages customers to make healthy choices and promotes healthy living. Showing consumers growing appetite to seek out healthy alternatives, Centra has seen sales of €17 million in Live Well products since launching a year ago.

Centra’s research, undertaken by RED C, reveals a genuine attitude shift with 85% of Irish adults saying they are more conscious about the products they consume, by monitoring more closely their fruit, veg, water and sugar intake compared to 12 months ago. This shift in mind-set has been witnessed in shopping trends in Centra stores. Sales of nutritional bars - such as Bounce protein balls, Fulfil and Naked - have seen 50% growth in the last year. Since the launch of Live Well, sales of salads are growing 58% faster than hot deli food such as breaded chicken, sausages and bacon. Salads are also growing two thirds faster than the traditional sandwich option at the cold deli.

Accordingly to Centra’s research, Irish adults are claiming to drink a higher amount of water than this time a year ago, with younger people drinking more water than other demographic. Centra’s customers are staying hydrated with sales of water growing 20% ahead of sugary alternatives since the launch of Live Well a year ago.

More than just healthier alternatives in-store, Live Well encourages people to get active. Over 11,500 children got active at Centra’s hurling events and Centra got over 200,000 people walking last year through their pink walks in aid of the Irish Cancer Society’s Action Breast Cancer programme. Finally, Live Well aims to educate and inspire shoppers. The Live Well hub on includes dedicated Live Well videos that have achieved 1.6 million views over the past 12 months, providing nutritional advice, recipe ideas and exercise tips.

Sarah Keogh, Consultant Dietician with and a member of the Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute, said, “When we started this Live Well journey with Centra a year ago we found that many Centra shoppers were confused about healthy eating or thought that it is simply too difficult and expensive with many doing the all-or-nothing approach. Centra is not a health food store but with over 460 stores in communities nationwide it has actively taken steps to make healthy eating easier and more convenient for people. We will continue to build on the success of our Live Well initiative and work towards a more health-aware Ireland.”

Speaking at today’s launch, Centra Ambassador Pippa O’Connor said, “This shift in shopper attitude towards healthy choices definitely applies to me. In the last year, I’ve become more conscious about what I put into the shopping basket and my family have really seen the benefits. Initiatives like Live Well make it easy to make those healthy choices especially when I’m short on time so I like to grab-and-go but always want to eat well.”