UK discount retailer Lidl has appealed to supermarkets to change the design and packaging of fruit and vegetable products to make them more attractive for children.

The move comes after the retailer recorded more than a third increase in the overall sales of its specially designed Oaklands Funsize range that was launched in 2017.

Under this range, the retailer offers fresh fruits and vegetables with fun and quirky names and cartoon characters on the packaging, including Banana-Llamas, Koala Pears and Tawny Tomatowl.

Such attractive names and packaging encourage children to eat more healthy food items.

Another similar initiative by Lidl allowed young shoppers to take part in competitions to name and design their own cartoon characters.

The year after this effort culminated, the company was able to sell about a quarter of a million additional units under this specific range.

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Lidl CCO Peter de Roos said: “Our ambition is to make high-quality, healthy food accessible to all, and the principal way we achieve this is through our best value prices.

“But we also recognise that there are other barriers in place, particularly concerning children, and parents are telling us that unhelpful packaging is one of them.

“This is something that’s so simple for us supermarkets to change, and our results show the positive impact that these small changes can make.

“We hope other supermarkets follow in our footsteps so that, as a sector, we can be confident we are doing all we can to support parents in helping to improve the diets of the next generation.”

Furthermore, Lidl has also confirmed that it is removing cartoon characters from the packaging of all its unhealthy products by early 2024.

Implementation of this initiative will affect more than 14 product categories, which mainly include chocolates, sweets and savoury snacks.

Around 30 products, including Lidl’s Sweet Fruit Chews and Multicoloured Fizzy Belts, are scheduled to undergo upgrades to introduce a fresh new look.

The effort builds on Lidl’s previous decision to remove cartoon characters from its cereal packaging in January 2020.

Furthermore, the latest move will help Lidl to achieve its new ‘Healthy & Sustainable Diets Policy’, which intends to offer healthier, more sustainable and easier food options to its customers.