Woolworths Australia is changing its checkouts and end-of-aisles to help make it easier for customers to discover healthier food choices when shopping across the store.
Kids confectionery will be removed from checkouts in all Woolworths Supermarkets, and healthier food choices with a Health Star Rating (HSR) of 3.5 or above will be rolled out on the front and back of food aisles from the end of next month.
While the aisle ends will still feature 'sometimes foods' and treats such as chips that are on special, the changes mean that customers will also see a similar snacking option with a 3.5 HSR or above on display on a shelf on each promotional end so that they can make healthier choices.
The move follows changes to checkouts introduced last year by Woolworths, where it increased the range of healthier options, including wholegrain crackers and bars. Based on the Australian Government's Health Star Rating system, at least 80 percent of snacks at checkouts have a Health Star Rating of 3.5 stars or more.
A range of healthier options available for $3 AUD or less is available at the checkout, including Woolworths Natural Almonds 70g ($2 - 5.0 HSR), Carmans Nut Bar 45g ($3 - 5 HSR) and Cobs Natural Sea Salt Popcorn 20g ($1.80 - 4.0 HSR).
Woolworths' research shows that almost a third of customers mostly or always use HSR to choose between different food products. By offering options that display HSRs, Woolworths aims to make healthier choices easier.
Woolworths Supermarkets Managing Director Natalie Davis said these were small but important steps in the right direction as Woolworths works to make healthier choices easier for its customers.
"There's no replacement for wholesome food like fruit and veg, but removing kids' confectionery from checkouts and helping customers make small swaps on the food they pick up at the end of an aisle or the checkout can help make a positive impact on their shopping habits," said Davis.
"We also know value and affordability are important to our customers, so we've been very deliberate in selecting healthier and great value options to take the stress out of picking up a quick snack or special on-the-go."
She continued that this included focusing on lower pricing for healthier products through initiatives like Woolworths' seasonal Prices Dropped program. In its latest Prices Dropped for Autumn program, more than half of its sales came from healthier products (3.5 HSR and above). Woolworths have also seen lower prices on some vegetables and are encouraging customers to enjoy fresh Australian vegetables this winter.
"We want to make healthier easier for all Australians, which builds on many changes we've made over the years to help our customers make healthier choices. We'll continue to look at ways to create affordable, healthier options across our range, together with our supplier partners."
Customers will see the removal of kid's confectionery from checkouts and 80 percent of checkout shelf space dedicated to healthier options nationally over the coming weeks. The integration of healthier options on the front and back of food aisles across Woolworths Supermarkets will start to be rolled out from the end of July. Based on customers ' responses, Woolworths will continue to test and look to expand healthier options on aisle ends over the year.
The new initiatives add to several programs to help customers increase healthier choices in their shopping baskets.