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In the Supermarket


Assessing the four largest Australian supermarkets on their policies and practices for supporting healthier food environments and improving population nutrition

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Australian supermarkets are taking increased steps to address health and nutrition, but their current actions fall far short of global best practice.


Areas in which Australian supermarkets have shown good progress

Two supermarkets (Woolworths and Coles) publicly disclose  their  proportion of sales from healthy products.

All four supermarkets have committed to implement the Health Star Rating labelling on all eligible own-brand products.

Three supermarkets have made pledged for own-brand products to meet the Australian government’s Healthy Food Partnership nutrient targets on sodium, sugar and saturated fat.

One supermarket has removed children’s confectionery from checkouts in all stores, although they still have other unhealthy products at checkouts, which are often heavily discounted in price.

Priority recommendations for the supermarket sector

Healthy food sales targets: Set company-wide targets to increase the proportion of sales from healthy products, and publicly report progress against this target each year.

Affordability of healthy food: Implement concrete actions to improve the affordability of healthy products, and limit price promotions on unhealthy products.

Healthy checkouts: Remove unhealthy products, such as confectionery and sugar-sweetened beverages, from displays near registers across all stores nationally.

Marketing to children: Reduce exposure of children to unhealthy food marketing, including eliminating use of promotional techniques (e.g., cartoon characters, interactive games, collectible campaigns) with strong appeal to children in relation to unhealthy products and brands.

Healthier products: Publicise specific, time-bound targets for reducing nutrients of concern (sodium, sugar, saturated fat, and trans fat) and energy/portion sizes of own-brand products. Routinely report on progress towards commitments and targets.

Better nutrition labelling: Implement in-store and digital nutrition information strategies to guide consumers to purchase healthier products (e.g., displaying the Health Star Rating on in-store shelf tags and online). Monitor and report the impact of these strategies on the healthiness of purchases.

Work with suppliers and branded food manufacturers: Work across the supply chain to improve nutrition-related practices, including with respect to product development, nutrition labelling and promotion practices.

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