After 26 years as an industry leader, driving healthier food choices and reformulation in Australia, the National Heart Foundation Board has decided to retire the Tick.
National CEO Mary Barry said the Tick started at a time when there was little to guide healthier food choices.
“Tick was and has always been a bold public health program based on a simple, easily recognised symbol,” she said.
“Our research has shown that, over many years, the Tick has been the most recognised logo on food in Australia, with up to 2.8 million Australians looking for it every day when they shopped for food. However, the Heart Foundation also know Australian shoppers’ demands are changing.”
Over the past few years, the foundation has worked with the federal Government and other stakeholders to develop the Health Star Rating (HSR) system, which was launched in December 2014.
“Since the launch, the HSR system has been well received by food manufacturers (more than 1,500 products now carry the HSR) and is becoming sufficiently well established and understood by shoppers,” Ms Barry said. “We feel we can now safely begin to retire the Tick.”
Over the years, the Tick has innovated the way people shop for food and helped improve food supply. Some key achievements include engaging the food industry to reduce trans fat levels, helping to reformulate everyday food and ensuring the inclusion of a nutrition information panel on the back of all packaged food 13 years before it was mandated.
Ms Barry gave her thanks to all the shoppers who have supported and trusted the Tick over the years.
“Its success was because of your support, “ she said. “We also send our thanks to all the food manufacturers who have strived to earn the Tick on their products for over a quarter of a century.”
The tick is currently carried by 2,000 products across 80 food categories. The Heart Foundation will continue to work with manufacturers who currently have the Tick on their products as the program winds down. It is expected the program will be fully retired over the next 12 to 24 months.