March 2023

Red Cliffs Bakery

Schools Implementing healthy changes Promoting healthy eating
A group of pitta bread

Overview

Red Cliffs Bakery near Mildura has reformulated four popular savoury pastries to create healthier AMBER products that local schools can order wholesale.

It’s proof that any size food business can support healthy eating in their local community, with some small but effective changes. Read more about their change below.


Baking up a solution

In 2017, bakery owner Peter Belsham began reformulating four savoury pastry products: a meat pot pie, a meat and savoury pie, a vegetable pasty, and a spinach and ricotta roll.

All four items are now classified AMBER according to the Victorian Government’s School Canteens and Other School Food Services Policy and the Healthy Choices guidelines. They were previously classified as RED.

By improving the nutritional quality of the pastries to meet the AMBER criteria, Red Cliffs Bakery has also expanded its business potential in the region.

These products are now supplied wholesale to schools, sporting clubs and retailers. They are also available in-store and through fundraising drives around the Sunraysia region.

The bakery worked with the Healthy Eating Advisory Service and the local health promotion team at Sunraysia Community Health Service to make these changes possible.

The reformulation process involved making small changes to the ingredients, to reduce the amount of fat and salt. The products were tested throughout the process to ensure they still tasted great and appealed to customers.

Once the improved recipes were confirmed, it was easy to implement the changes as they used all of the same ingredients, just in different quantities. In fact, the healthier products were actually cheaper to produce!


Community benefits

Peter is very aware of current population health issues related to poor nutrition, particularly among children. He wanted to be part of the solution, not the problem. He said that local schools also wanted healthier options for their lunch orders and canteen menus.

It took approximately six months from initially assessing the pastries to having the final AMBER products available to purchase.

Peter says the changes were successful with the support of the Healthy Eating Advisory Service and the local health service, and “customers didn’t notice any difference in the taste”.

Peter wanted to show that small businesses can be innovative and be competitive with larger businesses, saying “It shows that [small businesses] can still play with the big boys!”.

“I was worried that it would be too hard and confusing. But I learnt that making changes was easy. Just altering the amount of ingredients I was using and being patient were the main reasons we were so successful.”


Tips to take away

Here are Peter’s top tips for other food retailers that are interested in making healthier changes:

  • Make simple, slow and steady changes.
  • Be patient and open to new ideas and recipes.
  • Trial different versions and ingredients.

Relevant case studies

Sed curabitur euismod in nec aliquam mollis dui.
Explore all case studies
Fifth Avenue Childcare Centre
Posted 30/03/23
  • Early childhood services
  • Promoting healthy eating
  • +1
Gippsland Lakes Community Health Children’s Centre
Posted 30/03/23
  • Early childhood services
  • OSHC
  • +2
Bridge Rd Early Learning Centre
Posted 30/03/23
  • Early childhood services
  • Implementing healthy changes
  • +1
Bloom Early Learning
Posted 30/03/23
  • Early childhood services
  • Implementing healthy changes
  • +1
Matron Swinton Childcare Centre
Posted 30/03/23
  • OSHC
  • Implementing healthy changes
  • +1
Heany Park outside school hours care
Posted 30/03/23
  • OSHC
  • Implementing healthy changes
  • +1
World 4 Kids / Big Childcare
Posted 30/03/23
  • Early childhood services
  • OSHC
  • +2
Dandenong West Primary School
Posted 30/03/23
  • Schools
Maryborough Education Centre
Posted 30/03/23
  • Schools
  • Implementing healthy changes
  • +1
Darley Primary School
Posted 30/03/23
  • Schools
  • Implementing healthy changes
  • +1
Clonard College
Posted 30/03/23
  • Schools
  • Implementing healthy changes
  • +1
St Brendan’s Catholic Primary School
Posted 30/03/23
  • Schools
  • Implementing healthy changes
  • +1
Bruthen Primary School
Posted 30/03/23
  • Schools
  • Implementing healthy changes
  • +1
Marlborough Primary School
Posted 30/03/23
  • Schools
  • Implementing healthy changes
  • +1
Buckley Park College
Posted 30/03/23
  • Schools
  • Promoting healthy eating
  • +1
Beaumaris Primary School
Posted 29/03/23
  • Schools
  • Implementing healthy changes
  • +1
YMCA Victoria Food Pricing Initiative
Posted 29/03/23
  • Sport & recreation
  • Implementing healthy changes
  • +1
Alfred Health – Sugary Drink Trials
Posted 29/03/23
  • Health services
  • Implementing healthy changes
Healthy Choices – Financial impacts – City of Melbourne
Posted 29/03/23
  • Workplaces & Tertiary education
  • Promoting healthy eating
  • +1
YMCA Victoria
Posted 29/03/23
  • Sport & recreation
  • Implementing healthy changes
  • +1
Melton City Council
Posted 29/03/23
  • Sport & recreation
  • Implementing healthy changes
  • +1
Western District Health Service
Posted 29/03/23
  • Health services
Central Gippsland Health
Posted 29/03/23
  • Health services
  • Implementing healthy changes
  • +1
East Wimmera Health Service
Posted 29/03/23
  • Health services
  • Implementing healthy changes
  • +1
Perridak Burron Early Learning
Posted 29/03/23
  • Early childhood services
  • Implementing healthy changes
  • +1
Wimmera Health Care Group (Sugar sweetened beverages)
Posted 28/03/23
  • Health services
  • Implementing healthy changes
Northeast Health Wangaratta (Sugar sweetened beverages)
Posted 28/03/23
  • Health services
  • Implementing healthy changes
  • +1
Rochester & Elmore District Health Service
Posted 28/03/23
  • Health services
  • Implementing healthy changes
  • +1
Latrobe Regional Hospital
Posted 28/03/23
  • Health services
  • Implementing healthy changes
  • +1
St John of God Ballarat Hospital
Posted 17/03/23
  • Health services
  • Implementing healthy changes
  • +1
Alfred Health
Posted 17/03/23
  • Health services
  • Implementing healthy changes
  • +1
Rural Northwest Health Service – Yarrick Cafe
Posted 16/03/23
  • Health services
  • Implementing healthy changes
  • +2
Western District Health Service (GenR8change)
Posted 16/03/23
  • Health services
  • Implementing healthy changes
  • +1
University Hospital Geelong, Barwon Health
Posted 16/03/23
  • Health services
Latrobe Leisure
Posted 16/03/23
  • Sport & recreation
  • Implementing healthy changes
Winchelsea Swimming Pool
Posted 16/03/23
  • Sport & recreation
  • Implementing healthy changes
  • +1
Aligned Leisure
Posted 16/03/23
  • Sport & recreation
  • Implementing healthy changes
Western Leisure Services
Posted 16/03/23
  • Sport & recreation
  • Implementing healthy changes
  • +1
Honesty Snacks and Department of Health and Human Services (Vic)
Posted 16/03/23
  • Food industry
  • Implementing healthy changes
  • +1
Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre
Posted 16/03/23 • 1 mins read
  • Sport & recreation
  • Implementing healthy changes
  • +1
Deakin University
Posted 15/03/23
  • Workplaces & Tertiary education
  • Implementing healthy changes

Want to assess your menu?

FoodChecker - opens in a new tab