For more than 25 years the Heart Foundation Tick has helped shape the way Australians make supermarket choices and driven critically important changes to the food supply.
A year after Tick’s launch in 1989, 31 companies had come on board, earning the Tick for 140 products. Today more than 2,000 products carry the Tick across 80 food categories.
Our research shows the Tick is the most recognised logo on food in Australia. Around 2.8 million Australians look for the Tick everyday when they shop for food.
Through the Tick Program, the Heart Foundation provides healthier choices for Australians by challenging food companies to improve the foods we eat every day. Over the years, we’ve driven significant change. Here are some other examples of what we’ve achieved.
Leading the way on nutrition information panels
With the introduction of the Tick in 1989, all foods with the Tick were required to include a nutritional information panel on packaging. This led the way to nutrition information panels becoming mandatory with the update to the Food Standards Code – Australia’s food requirements. That was 13 years before Food Standards Australia New Zealand made them mandatory in 2001.
In 1994, the Heart Foundation called on companies and regulators to reduce trans fats.
By 1996, the Tick Program introduced saturated and trans fats limits for margarine spreads. The Heart Foundation Tick worked with companies to adapt their processes and encouraged them to invest in the equipment needed to introduce margarines with less than 1% trans fat.
By 2005, all spreads with the Tick were virtually trans fat free.
Taking tonnes of salt out of Australians’ diets
In 1997, Kellogg’s started reformulating 12 breakfast cereals to reduce sodium content. As a result, 235 tonnes of salt were removed annually from Australian cereals.
Between 2003 and 2006 we reduced salt levels across 36 of the 54 Tick food product categories.
Approximately 16 tonnes of salt was removed from the food supply from the reformulation of pasta sauce alone in 2013.
Getting tougher on kilojoules
With obesity levels rising, the Tick Program introduced energy (kilojoules) criteria in some food categories to encourage reducing the serving size of snacks between 2003 and 2006.
The energy criterion was introduced for breakfast cereals in 2004, dairy foods in 2005, and fruit spreads in 2007 and continues to be an important nutrient today.
Making healthier foods more affordable
The Tick makes healthier food choices more affordable by improving the nutrition of private label foods. Due to ALDI’s reformulation and innovation program to meet the Tick’s nutritional standards, 92% of ALDI’s breads, rolls and English muffins now have less salt, and over 50% have met Tick’s even higher standards for reduced salt and saturated fat and increased fibre. A range of Coles own branded products joined the Tick Program in 2012 with a range of healthier choices including low fat milk.