Promoting healthier choices

To meet the Healthy Choices guidelines, healthier foods and drinks should be promoted and displayed in prominent areas and unhealthy foods and drinks should not be encouraged.

This means thinking about labelling, placement, pricing and promotion of foods and drinks in your food service or organisation.

Watch the video below to see how this can work in a retail food outlet. It shows how simple changes to product display can promote healthier options. You'll also receive tips for making small changes that can have a big impact on what customers buy. 



Now use the ideas below to help you promote healthier options. This is not a complete list – there are many ways that you can make healthier foods and drinks more appealing for customers!



  • Clearly label the foods and drinks you offer as GREEN (best choices), AMBER (choose carefully) or RED (limit).
  • Make sure that an explanation of what each colour means is clearly visible.

Suggestion: Coloured dots (stickers) for labelling are inexpensive and can be purchased from most newsagents or office supply stores.



  • Place GREEN items in prominent areas, for example:
    • at eye level on shelves, in fridges and in vending machines
    • at the front of cabinets and bain maries
    • in high traffic areas (e.g. reception desks, counters in waiting areas, entrances and exits of food outlets, beside cash registers, in dining areas)
      • Display AMBER items more prominently than RED choices.
      • Avoid placing RED items in prominent areas.



  • Try to make sure GREEN and AMBER items are affordable.
  • Make GREEN items a similar price or cheaper than RED products in the same category (e.g. make a bottle of water a similar price or cheaper than a can of soft drink).

Suggestion: If GREEN items are more expensive, consider increasing the price of similar RED items so that the price of the healthier option is comparable.



  • Promoted GREEN options in visible areas such as counters, cabinets, fridges, vending machines, menu boards, staff notice boards, in lifts and via promotional stands and product displays.
  • Present GREEN options attractively.
  • Include GREEN options in special offers (e.g. meal deals, ‘two for one’ offers, loyalty cards).
  • Avoid marketing RED options, and do not include these in special offers or upsizing promotions.



You can use this newsletter template (Word document) to write a brief article that will educate your staff and visitors about the changes they are going to see in your food outlets, catering and/or vending machines. It briefly explains the Victorian Healthy Choices guidelines and why your organisation has chosen to implement them. 





Printer-friendly version