Berkeley, California is set to become the first city to ban the selling of junk food and candy in the checkout aisles. This is part of a larger health initiative. The new legislation is expected to be effect March 2021
The Healthy Check Out Ordinance was approved in a unanimous vote by the city council. It will require that any store bigger than 2,500 square-feet needs to have 25 square-feet of healthier items within a three-foot radius of the registers. This effectively making it impossible make room for the junk food and candy which has traditionally lined checkout spaces.
Berkeley shoppers can expect to see “junk” replaced by whole grain alternatives to snacks, lower calorie beverages and perhaps even fresh fruit when the checkout. The city council noted that shoppers are more likely to give in to junk food at the end of their shopping trip when they are tired and their willpower may be low.
25 large retailers in Berkeley are likely to be affected. These include brands like Whole Foods, Walgreens, CVS and Safeway.
The city council wanted to make it clear that this is not a ban. These stores are free to sell candy, junk food and soda but within the restrictions of the new ordinance and not at your child’s eye level when you are checking out.
They also pointed out the tests around the country in different stores have shown an increase in healthier buying choices when such restrictions are put into place.