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Healthy Supermarkets Latrobe

Poor diet is currently the leading cause of avoidable chronic disease and premature death in Australia. In Latrobe City 94% of adults do not eat the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables, 16% consume sugar sweetened beverages daily, and over half the population are overweight or obese. Excess energy intake is the largest contributor to obesity, with pervasive marketing techniques used to market energy dense, nutrient poor ‘junk’ foods, leading to high consumption.

Supermarkets account for the majority of food spending in Australia, with 63% of the market share. On average Australians visit supermarkets 3 times per week, and more than 12 million shoppers in Australia visit a supermarket at least once per week. The major supermarket retailers (Coles, Woolworths and Aldi) account for majority of supermarket purchasing (71.8%). Smaller retailers (IGA and Foodworks) play an important role in the market due to their convenience, the scale of the market in rural/remote areas, and customer loyalty.

The food environment plays a critical role in determining our dietary behaviours and the food choices we make. Research shows that supermarkets can greatly influence consumer food

purchasing behaviour by using the four marketing P’s; product, placement, promotion and pricing. Supermarket interventions which change aspects of the 4 P’s to favour healthier food purchasing (‘healthy supermarket initiatives’) show great potential for improving healthy food purchasing behaviours, and therefore improving overall diet quality and health outcomes at a population level.

The goal of this project is to increase promotion of healthy fresh foods and healthy packaged foods in supermarkets in the Latrobe region.

Engage supermarket retailers to implement changes that enable customers to make healthy food choices, including trialling the impact/efficacy of interventions such as:

  • Health star rating on shelving to promote healthy products
  • Trolley and shopping basket signs promoting healthy choices
  • ‘Point of decision prompts’ in places such as aisles, checkouts and end of aisle displays encouraging healthy options
  • Increase consumers’ awareness and understanding of HSR system
  • Increase consumers’ confidence in purchasing healthy foods
  • Increase healthy food purchasing choices in supermarket retailers
  • Decrease unhealthy food purchasing choices in supermarket retailers
  • Increase efficacy of supermarket store owners and staff in promoting healthy choices
  • Examine and describe impact of interventions on sales in supermarkets
  • Explore and describe consumer satisfaction with the interventions trialled in supermarkets
  • Explore opportunities for implementing ongoing changes that support healthy consumer choices in supermarkets

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