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Kiwi Grocery Shoppers Use The Healthy Tick

Seventy Five Per Cent Of Kiwi Grocery Shoppers Use The Tick To Choose Healthier Food

Recent research commissioned by the Heart Foundation Tick Programme shows the Tick is embedded in the New Zealand grocery shopping ritual with the majority of shoppers using the Tick to help them choose healthier food.

According to the research three out of four grocery shoppers will buy a product with the Tick over a similar product without the Tick. Four out of five shoppers also place some importance on the Tick when making purchasing decisions with nine per cent rating the Tick as extremely important, 33 per cent as very important and 40 per cent as somewhat important.

The survey also shows strong awareness for the Tick with 95 per cent of shoppers able to recall seeing a Tick symbol on food packaging, placing the Tick among the list of iconic Kiwi brands that most people easily recall.

Tick Programme Manager Ian Mathieson says the strong consumer confidence in the Tick means it is a powerful tool in the fight against obesity and is helping to shape up New Zealanders.

"Many of us really want to eat healthier food but with our busy lifestyles we simply don't have the time to study and understand the nutrition information on the labels. The Tick takes the guesswork out of what to buy. All you have to do is look for the Tick symbol on the pack and you know you have made a healthier choice in that food category," said Mr Mathieson.

The Tick Programme is unique in that it works with the food industry influencing food manufacturers to make healthier products.

"It's a brilliant concept. The Tick achieves its public health goal of improving the nation's food supply and manufacturers get a commercial return from investing in the Tick because they know shoppers are actively choosing Tick products.

"Manufacturers often need to reformulate their products to meet the Tick's tough nutrition standards and many are now specifically developing new products to comply with the Tick guidelines. That means big improvements to the foods we eat and it is all because of the Tick," said Mr Mathieson.

Currently the Tick is on nearly 1,000 food products in over 50 food categories, from everyday foods like cereal, bread, milk and lean meat to occasional foods like pies, ice-cream and chicken nuggets.

"The Tick needs to be available on a wide range of foods New Zealanders eat, so people can choose the healthier option within each food category," said Mr Mathieson.

The Tick Programme has been operating in New Zealand for 10 years and in 2006 it set even tougher nutrition guidelines, in one year eliminating 266 tonnes of trans fat from Tick margarines and spreads. In partnership with two leading children's dairy food brands it shed 68 tonnes of total fat and 49 tonnes of saturated fat and also removed 33 tonnes of salt from breads, cereals and margarines.

"The Tick's public health goal is to improve New Zealand's food supply and with high consumer use of the Tick along with strong food industry participation we believe we are making a measurable difference to the food Kiwis eat," said Mr Mathieson.


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