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Our Customers and Community

Making healthier eating easier

We want to take the lead and support our customers by making healthier eating easier

Customers increasingly care about their health

Each year we track and monitor Australians' perceptions of food and health to understand their needs and motivations to help them make healthier choices. We asked 2,000 Australians what health means to them, steps they have taken to eat healthier as well as the main barriers to being healthy.  

Our customers increasingly tell us that health is important to them, but for nearly one in two people healthy eating is perceived to be expensive. The cost of healthy food, a lack of motivation to cook, difficult to change eating habits and a lack of time are the main barriers to healthy eating. The situation seems to be improving with fewer Australians reporting healthy eating is less affordable compared to a year ago. 

Reference: Woolworths Food and Health Survey May 2018, N=2000

What are we doing to support our customers?

Inspiring healthy choices for a better future

Woolworths is determined to help kids eat healthier with our Fresh Food Kids program. Our ambition is to make it fun and easy for kids to eat fruit and vegetables by empowering them with educational and hands-on activities. That’s why we:

  • offer Free Fruit for Kids in all Woolworths supermarkets across Australia - more than 26 million pieces of fruit are donated each year. 
  • launched Fresh Food Kids Discovery Tours nationwide. Children from primary school and early learning centres are invited to come to our stores to learn, touch and taste an array of fruit and vegetables. Currently, more than 100,000 students across the nation have already registered to go on the journey since July.
  • provide Free Back to School booklets with inspiring recipes on how to pack a healthy lunch from all the five food groups
  • established partnerships with a range of organisations that align with Woolworths' philosophy of improving nutrition and physical activity amongst children including Life Education, Cricket Australia and Netball Australia

Reducing prices on healthier products

We have dropped the price on over 1,000 ‘healthier for you’ foods over the last few years. Some of the new healthier for you products added to the prices dropped program this year includes: Woolworths Family Size Spaghetti Bolognese, Woolworths range of Muesli and Boost Frozen Fruit.
Woolworths defines items as ‘healthier’ based on whether it's a core food as laid out by the Australian Dietary Guidelines or has a health star rating of 4 or above.

Imperfect Produce

Having access to affordable fresh fruit and vegetables is a priority for our customers. Our Woolworths Odd Bunch range of imperfect fruit and vegetables not only helps customers save money, it also helps minimise food waste. This has been a highly successful program, and Woolworths has sold over 100 million kilos of the Odd Bunch range - a testament to the support of customers looking for affordable, but funky looking fruit and vegetables. 

Signposting healthier options

To help our customers find healthier choices in store we have:

  • 99% of eligible Woolworths food range display the Health Star Rating on the front of the pack (over 2,200 products). 860 of these (38%) are 4 stars or above.
  • Raised awareness of the Health Star Rating in the catalogue, on shopping baskets and on our supermarket website. 
  • Developed new store formats with a focus on fresh and healthy food by increasing space in 29 renewed stores for fresh fruit and vegetables and more shelf space has been allocated to dedicated health aisles in 54 stores.
  • Woolworths shopping website now displays nutrition information and the health star rating where applicable
  • Woolworths Fresh Market Update was reintroduced towards the end of last year educating customers about new, affordable and in-season produce

Improving the nutrition of Woolworths Food Range

We are committed to providing clear and transparent labelling, not using additives our customers have asked us to remove, and improving the nutritional profile of products to make healthier choices easier. All Woolworths food range now have no artificial colours and flavours or added MSG.

*When compared to equivalent previous Woolworths products since July 2012

In 2018, Heart Foundation Victoria recognised our salt reduction efforts across Woolworths Food Range claiming Woolworths is leading the way for other food companies and retailers in Australia https://unpackthesalt.com.au/casestudies/woolworths/

Stakeholder engagement 

Woolworths is part of the Government’s Healthy Food Partnership Executive Committee, which aims to improve the dietary habits of Australians. 

In 2017 we hosted our first stakeholder day in Australia and New Zealand with over 100 like-minded partners from industry, NGOs and government. We shared our approach to helping customers shop healthier and to start a conversation on how we can collaborate on initiatives to make healthier eating easier.

Pictured above left to right: Alex Holt, General Manager Quality, Sustainability and Health, Stevie Wring, Head of Health and Nutrition, Amanda Bardwell, Managing Director WooliesX, Brad Banducci, CEO and Managing Director,  Woolworths Group, Andrew Hicks, Director of Marketing, Woolworths Food Group and Supermarkets 

Growing a good food team culture

We now employ five accredited nutritionists across Australia and New Zealand to implement our health guidelines and commitments. To embed our health strategy in 2018 Australia established a cross-functional health working group supported by our Executive Committee with representatives from buying, marketing, strategy and nutrition.

Deakin University’s Health Ratings for Supermarkets Report

In 2018 Deakin assessed Australian supermarkets on their health initiatives and ranked Woolworths as the highest performer in the group. The Report called on Australian retailers to do more to encourage healthy eating. Whilst we’ve made some progress, we acknowledge there is more we can do. 

We are determined to lead the way when it comes to helping our customers make healthier choices, with these initiatives representing the start of our journey in this area.

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