A global issue, predominantly seen in developing countries, malnutrition affects one in three people worldwide. Globally, 159 million children are stunted in size (too short for their age) and 50 million children are under-weight. Deficiencies in essential minerals and vitamins are estimated to affect half of all pre-school children and 2 billion people worldwide. In response, SPAR has committed itself to combatting malnutrition through community and instore initiatives, as well as dedicated local projects.
In targeting malnutrition, SPAR has tailored initiatives around education, focusing on nutritional intake and dietary diversity. In realising that the foundation for nutrition lies within the first 1,000 days of a child’s life, SPAR’s educational programmes are aimed at adults and children. Providing knowledge about nutritious foods, the food group breakdowns and dietary diversity, adults and children are educated on the steps needed to ensure future growth and development.
A local project that SPAR is involved in is the Rural Hub project in South Africa. Working in partnership with the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and the Amsterdam Initiative against Malnutrition (AIM), this project supports and empowers farmers, whilst simultaneously improving access to good quality fresh produce for SPAR shoppers in rural areas. With the guaranteed involvement of SPAR stores in South Africa, both farmers and consumers benefit from supply chain improvements.
Fighting Overweight and Obesity
A contrasting, yet rapidly increasing global health issue, is the increase in obesity, often the result of a poor diet. In every region of the world, the obesity problem is growing, and there are currently more than 2 billion people suffering from the disease. This is further reflected in children, with 2016 statistics showing that 41 million children under the age of five and 340 million children between the ages of 5-19 have been classified as overweight or obese. In understanding that being overweight or obese are conditions that can be prevented and overcome, SPAR has initiated programmes across the globe that promote healthier food options and exercise.
Our SPAR Partners have developed initiatives that meet the specific needs of the communities in which they operate, focusing on providing consumers with nutritional information, reformulating products and providing healthier food options. Similar to our dedication to fighting malnutrition, our instore and community campaigns across the SPAR network address the benefits of nutritious foods and promote healthier alternatives. Our campaigns specifically aim to change consumers’ eating habits and influence better dietary choices through increasing access to nutritious food options for our customers.
Additionally, a number of SPAR Partners are addressing consumer health concerns by reducing the amount of sugar and palm oil in own brand products as well as offering natural products with a growing range of vegan, vegetarian, organic, gluten free, wheat free, dairy free, lactose free and sugar free items.
Our sports sponsorship programme is as important as our nutrition initiatives in promoting health and well-being and our SPAR Partners across the globe are involved in organsing and sponsoring sports events, which create great awareness of the SPAR Brand. Across the globe, SPAR sponsors professional sports teams as well as local sporting clubs and schools, helping our retailers engage with their communities and encouraging shoppers, young and old, to participate actively in sports.
For more information on our programmes related to nutrition, exercise and well-being, please visit our Responsible Retailing Health page or browse through our Pressroom for more SPAR Responsible Retailing initiatives.