Perris bans foods high in sugar and trans fat from display in supermarket checkout aisle

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Thursday, September 7, 2023
Perris bans junk food at the supermarket checkout aisle in 2024
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The city of Perris will no longer allow supermarkets to sell foods high in sugar and fat in the checkout aisle.

PERRIS, Calif. (KABC) -- Perris residents will notice their usual snacks, treats and sugary drinks at the checkout aisle will be replaced with healthier options starting Jan. 1, 2024.

Earlier this year, Perris' City Council passed the Healthy Checkout Ordinance which bans junk food from the checkout aisle while encouraging supermarkets to stock healthier options.

"When you check out of a much larger-scale market you are going to have better choices when you leave the store," said Perris Mayor Michael Vargas.

The ordinance will ban snacks and drinks with more than 200 calories or high in trans fats from within six feet of the register.

Residents told about it had mixed reaction to the new rules.

"Yeah if they have healthier choices it would be a lot better," said local Donovan Ottero.

While he wants healthier choices he's not sure about the method to enforce it.

"I feel that is something the grocery stores decide on their own. It's their product, it is their store," he said.

The California Grocers Association opposed the ordinance in a statement to Eyewitness News.

"We believe most shoppers prefer that grocers stock and merchandise store shelves, rather than politicians," said Nate Rose, a spokesperson for the California Grocers Association.

"What makes matters worse is that while the neighborhood grocery store is the primary resource in communities for healthy and nourishing food, grocery stores have been singled out by Perris politicians. There's no reason why one set of rules should apply in the grocery checkout aisle, but not a gasoline, convenience, or pharmacy store checkout stand. As written, this ordinance applies to 15 grocers while there are 67 other retailers in the city that will not be playing by the same set of rules."

But Mayor Vargas says the idea for the ordinance was brought to them by the community and fits within the city's healthy-lifestyle initiatives

"It just falls in line with the Live Well Perris program. The campaign that we have about eating good and eating healthy. Again, we are not saying you can't do it. We are just saying not at the checkout stand," said Vargas.