/ Food & Drink, Health, Shopping

We want healthy multibuys not just multi-pies


It’s been reported that the government wants supermarkets and food makers to put more effort into promoting healthier products. Wouldn’t it be nice if multibuy promotions weren’t just for pizzas, pies and pop?

It’s the great British summer (well, it was the other day), which can only mean one thing. No, not the gentle patter of rain on the window, or the sight of wall-to-wall umbrellas at Wimbledon. I mean the return of the British strawberry.

I’m a great lover of this odd-shaped red berry. There’s nothing quite like wandering the shops taking in that distinctive scent. To me, the strawberry is summer. And with the strawberry comes the plethora of mulitbuys and BOGOFs. Luckily my husband is also a fan, so buying more than one pack at a time is no great hardship, and they don’t have time to go off!

However, I know from reading previous Convos on the subject that many of you are not fans of the supermarket promotion. Having lived on my own and without a decent freezer for many years, multibuys used to make me want to tell supermarkets to BOGOF!

A taste for healthy promotions

The thing that bugs me the most is how hard it is to find healthy foods, beyond just fruit ‘n’ veg, on promotion. And since I don’t live close to a market, I’m at the mercy of the supermarkets and their prices and promotions, which makes it hard to keep down the cost of eating healthily.

This is something Which? research shows others struggle with. In our A Taste for Change report, we found that nine out of 10 of us want to eat more healthily, but struggle to do so, whether due to inconsistent labelling or high prices.

Thankfully the government is working on plans for supermarkets and retailers to develop more responsible promotions that help shoppers opt for healthier foods. And it was today revealed by the Daily Telegraph that this could involve shops being asked to spend more of their marketing budgets promoting healthy food, rather than pushing unhealthy multibuys.

Our own research shows that few retailers have policies balancing healthy and less healthy foods in promotions. This is something we think should change and so it’s right that the government is planning to look at this. Ultimately, the food industry should be doing more to help people make healthier choices through promotions.

How many promotions have you seen for healthy foods in your local supermarket?


I’d rather instead of multi-buys they reduced the price for individual items. If someone wants more than 1 of something they can still buy multiples. Since I find fruit and veg goes off far to quickly I tend to avoid buying the stuff. Last time I bought a coconut ( a couple of weeks ago ) I opened it up 3 days after buying it , (well within the eat before date) and it was off. I’m just glad it wasn’t on a special multi buy.

Multi buy offers should be limited to none perishables (ie. toilet rolls, washing up liquid etc)

jeddentad says:
4 July 2013

I wish, in the name of preventing waste, stores would change (or would be forced to change) their multi-buy policy.

If an item is 2 for £2 I should be able to buy 1 for £1 or 3 for £3.

I was told this was actually talked about politically ages ago but never made it through.

Malc.Moore says:
3 July 2013

Do the supermarkets think customers are complete fools?.I think they do healthy foods a choice. Baked beans is a shining example why is a Healthier can less sugar&salt more expensive than the standard baked beans.This is tied in with inconsistent labeling i urge all shoppers to just do a quick check to see you are getting what you think you are buying.Ready made Family shortcrust steak pie is great for the busy parents yet only contains 24% or 25% actual meat content.I buy same at the same price same size that contains 36% meat content . Individual pies are poor containing 11%or less yet charging more for less.We must have the worst regulated food industry in the EU.The German public would not put up with such blatant misleading labeling.I recommend even if you only check 1or2 products per big shop you will be surprised you are not getting for what you think you paying for.I despise multibuys is a clever ploy often used to raise prices.


Supermarkets run promotions for their benefit, not yours. So if you don’t like the promotion, don’t buy it and stick to your chosen food – healthy if you like. We shop at M&S where they usually have fruit, salad, vegetables, healthy meals, on offer but only worth buying if you need them and can use or freeze them if they are multibuys. Cheaper meals have less meat content than more expensive ones, but that is not necessarily bad – you don’t need a lot of meat. The packet lists the contents so you can see what you are buying.
Personally I don’t want to see Govt dictating how shops should legitimately trade – they will be advised by the wrong sort of people, probably with a vested interest. Just use your own common sense and judgement. If people choose multibuys then presumably they want them – they are not all fools as has been pointed out.


“If people choose multibuys then presumably they want them…”

Not sure about that. For example, one cucumber for 90p and two for £1. I want one cucumber, preferably for 50p.


I haven’t seen that one, but this all assumes we are incabable of making a choice. If you don’t want a multibuy, don’t buy it. If you only want your one cucumber then don’t buy two and save 10p.


Tesco has this offer periodically. It is just one of the ways they annoy me.

If I buy two I try to give one away.

Jax says:
3 July 2013

I don’t mind the multi buys, I object when buying a multipack or 3 for 2 is more expensive than buying individual items. I’ve had more than one argument with a check out assistant, then customer service, when buying 3 items comes up as a more expensive multi buy instead of 3 individual items! This seems so dishonest.