Heart Foundation Tick for food manufacturers

Heart Foundation Tick for food manufacturers

To earn the Heart Foundation Tick, food manufacturers have to meet challenging but achievable nutrition standards, and follow promotional guidelines. 

The Heart Foundation Tick is the most recognised front of pack label in Australia.  Around 2.8 million Australians look for the Tick every day when they shop for food . 

The Tick is a self-funded public health program which aims to improve the nutrition of the foods Australians eat most often and deliver better nutritional outcomes for all Australians. It’s designed to help people easily choose healthier products at a glance when comparing foods in the same category. 

Nutrition standards

There are over 80 different product categories for the Tick. Our nutrition standards set key nutrient and ingredient criteria for each category. These can include saturated fat, trans fat, kilojoules, salt, fibre, calcium and added vegetables.

Our criteria aim to manage energy (kilojoules) density and ensure appropriate serve sizes, and limit levels of nutrients like:

  • total fat, saturated fat, trans fatty acids, partially hydrogenated fat
  • sodium.

We aim to include levels of nutrients like:

  • dietary fibre and/or whole grains 
  • calcium (for soy products and dairy alternatives) 
  • protein.

We also aim to ensure the quality of categories where ingredients are important, such as vegetable content of meal related categories or ensure a minimum seafood content for seafood categories. 

How we set the criteria

In developing Tick criteria we combine:

  • comprehensive examination of current market nutrition levels
  • analysis of public health priorities for each food category
  • consideration of technical and market feasibilities.

The main underlying principles are that the criteria must reflect the nutritional objectives for the category, be challenging, and be achievable. 

We use the same rigorous process to review criteria regularly.

Promotional guidelines

Our promotional guidelines cover things like nutrition information panels, correct use of the Tick trade mark, recipes, and compliance with current food regulations, laws and codes of practice.

We check all packaging and promotional materials (like advertising and media releases) before they can be used. 

Monitoring compliance

Once a food product is approved, we monitor it to ensure our standards continue to be met. Products are subject to random audits.

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