The Heart Foundation has today announced that they have made the decision to remove the Tick from cereal-based bars, including some muesli bars following a review of the category and the re-introduction of the sugar criterion.
Tick-approved products in the breakfast cereal and nut and seed bar categories that no longer meet the strict nutrition criteria will have 12 months to reformulate their products in order to continue using the Tick.
“We indicated earlier in the year our intention to re-introduce a sugar criterion into relevant Tick categories, where previously only an energy criterion exisited. This change is now coming into effect,” said Tick programme manager, Deb Sue.
The new sugar criterion affects two categories deemed of highest relevance, breakfast cereals and nut and seed bars.
The move reflects recommendations by the World Health Organisation, the Ministry of Helath and aligns with the Heart Foundation’s nutrition messages.
As other categories come up for review, the sugar criterion will be added at that time.
While the re-introduction of a sugar criterion is a positive move for the Tick programme, Deb Sue said the Heart Foundation wants to shift the focus from assessing foods based on individual nutrients, such as sugar, to looking at foods as a whole.
The Tick programme is New Zealand’s only front of pack labelling system that independently audits, through regular testing and monitoring, the nutrition content of the foods it endorses.
The Heart Foundation introduced Two Ticks in May 2014. Two Ticks aims to help shoppers identify core foods for a healthy diet. There are now over 100 products registered with Two Ticks.