Waitrose has announced it will be updating packaging and information available to customers in order to raise awareness of bowel cancer symptoms.
Natalie Mitchell, Waitrose Director of Own Brand, said: “We want all of our customers to recognise the symptoms of bowel cancer.
“We’ve been inspired by what Dame Deborah James has done to raise awareness and we want to play our part in this really important campaign in partnership with Bowel Cancer UK.
“We will be updating our packaging from the autumn to include this important information”.
Bowel Cancer UK’s #GetOnARoll campaign is calling on all supermarkets across the country to put bowel cancer symptoms on their own brand loo roll where people need to see them most.
The campaign started this year in May with M&S adding the symptoms to its own brand toilet rolls after M&S employee Cara Hoofe, a supporter of Bowel Cancer UK, who was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016, submitted the idea via the retailer’s CEO suggestion scheme, Straight to Stuart.
Cara Hoofe said: “I was diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer in 2016. I work for Marks and Spencer and recently submitted the idea of putting bowel cancer symptoms on all M&S loo roll packaging via our CEO suggestion scheme, Straight to Stuart.
“This has quickly become a reality, and I’m so happy they are putting my proposal into action, I’m hoping other companies will join us.
“Early detection is so important and my main message to people is don’t feel embarrassed, speak to your doctor and get things checked out.”
#GetOnARoll started on June 16 with Andrex joining on June 21, Aldi June 22, Morrisons June 23 and now Waitrose and Asda have joined.
Waitrose will be taking the following steps:
- Introducing information on bowel cancer symptoms on our Waitrose own label toilet roll packaging
- Point of sale information for customers on bowel cancer symptoms to raise awareness, ahead of packaging change
- Coverage in Waitrose Weekend raising awareness of bowel cancer symptoms
Bowel Cancer UK CEO Genevieve Edwards said: “Almost 43,000 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer in the UK every year, making it the fourth most common cancer.
“It’s the second biggest cancer killer, but it doesn’t have to be, as the disease is treatable and curable, especially when it’s discovered early.
“Sadly, 60 percent of people are diagnosed at later stages of the disease, when it’s more difficult to treat.
“Awareness of the red flag symptoms of bowel cancer remains worryingly low, so it’s fantastic that Waitrose has signed up to our #GetOnARoll campaign to help people recognise the signs.”
The charity Bowel Cancer UK is encouraging the other supermarkets to get involved and add the symptoms to their own brands of loo roll.