Apr 19, 2022

Superlist Health II provides insight into what supermarkets have done over the past two years to make healthy food the easiest choice

The Questionmark Foundation today starts the second study that compares supermarkets on how they help their customers in making healthy choices. The study "Superlist Health" investigates to what extent supermarkets help us to eat and drink healthier and leads to a public ranking of supermarkets. For this research, Questionmark is collaborating with the Diabetes Fonds, Hartstichting, Maag Lever Darm Stichting and Nierstichting, united in the Alliantie Voeding voor de Gezonde Generatie (Nutrition for the Healthy Generation Alliance). The results will be published later this year. The supermarkets included in the Super list are: Albert Heijn, Jumbo, Lidl, Aldi, Plus, Dirk, Coop and Ekoplaza.

Healthy ambition not always translated into practice and policy

In their annual reports, on their websites and with their commitment to the Prevention Agreement, supermarkets without exception express the intention to facilitate the healthy choice. However, the first Superlist Health, which was published in October 2020, showed that this ambition was not everywhere translated into policy and practice. Two years ago, no supermarket had adequate targets for selling healthy products, and unhealthy products dominated in the weekly advertising leaflets.

Charlotte Linnebank, director of Questionmark: “The first Superlist Health was a baseline measurement and showed that supermarkets have many opportunities to better help their customers in making healthy choices. Now, two years later, we will repeat this research and we will see which supermarkets have succeeded in seizing these opportunities to make the Dutch a bit healthier.”

Influence of supermarkets

With their assortment, shop layout and weekly offers, supermarkets have a major influence on the choices their customers make. The findings of the first Superlist Health showed that supermarkets still not actively discourage unhealthy choices:

·                on average, 82% of the offers in advertising leaflets are unhealthy;

·                at almost all cash registers, unhealthy impulse purchases are available;

·                supermarkets have not formulated clear goals to sell less unhealthy products.

Cooperation with Health Funds

For Superlist Health, Questionmark works together with Alliantie Voeding voor de Gezonde Generatie (Nutrition Alliance for the Healthy Generation). Bernique Tool, chairman of the Alliance: “More than 70% of what we eat comes to our plates via the supermarket. The supermarkets therefore have a lot of influence on our diet. It is important to make the food environment healthier now, so that every child in the Netherlands has a healthy diet. We hope that this research will encourage supermarkets to offer a healthier diet and we are looking forward to the results of the second Superlist Health.”

Research method

The research method of the Superlist is developed under supervision of an independent Scientific Advisory Board. For a large part Superlist Health 2022 will re-use the methodology of Superlist Health 2020. A number of indicators have been altered with a stronger focus on children's marketing and multi-buy promotions for unhealthy products will weigh more heavily. The method is publicly available here (in Dutch).  

Other Superlists

After Superlist Health in October 2020, Superlist Green (May 2021), Superlist Animal Welfare (December 2021), Superlist UK Health (December 2021) and Superlist UK Environment (March 2022) were published.


Contact for Questionmark: Annelore van der Lint | annelore@thequestionmark.org | +31 6 290 73 879

Contact for Alliantie Voeding voor de Gezonde Generatie: Sanne Rademaker| sannerademaker@nierstichting.nl +31 6 46288299

More information about the Alliance (in Dutch) www.gezondegeneratie.nl/alliantievoeding

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