Food industry

With people eating away from home more often, food businesses of all sizes can support Victorians’ health and wellbeing by supplying healthier options. We can help your food business meet the Victorian Government’s healthy food and drink guidelines for schools, food retail outlets, catering and vending – satisfying growing consumer and business demand for healthier options.

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Staff member preparing rows of the same meal

How to implement healthy eating policies and guidelines

Food industry can support community health and wellbeing by increasing the availability of healthier options to meet healthy food and drink guidelines for schools, retail outlets, catering and vending.

From manufacturers to suppliers to retail food outlets, the food industry can play a significant role in supporting healthy eating by supplying healthier food and drinks in places where Victorians spend their time.

Many Victorian food businesses are implementing government food and drink guidelines and sourcing more nutritious alternatives to food and drinks that are high in added fat, sugar or salt.

Supplying healthier food and drinks:

  • can be profitable
  • can attract new customers and help grow your business
  • may help you meet any relevant contractual obligations with organisations
  • enables customers to choose healthier options that may enhance their wellbeing and reduce their risk of or help them manage chronic health conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes or high blood pressure.

Better understand the Victorian Government policies and guidelines

The Victorian Government has healthy food and drink policies and guidelines that aim to increase the availability of healthier food and drinks in schools, hospitals and health services, sport and recreation centres, workplaces and other organisations like universities and TAFEs.

Assess your recipes and products

You can find out if your recipes and products are classified GREEN, AMBER or RED using our free online assessment tool, FoodChecker.

  • Manufacturers and suppliers can assess pre-made, packaged products or search the database of 6,000 branded food and drink products already classified as GREEN, AMBER or RED.
  • Retail food outlets and caterers can assess food and drinks made on site using the recipe assessment or menu assessment options.

Dedicated toolkit for food retailers

Designed for retail food outlet managers and staff, this toolkit will guide you through the steps for success to roll out the Healthy Choices guidelines in your food outlet. Developed in collaboration with the Nourish Network, this toolkit was developed and tested with retail businesses.

Supplying healthier recipes and products

After assessing your food and drinks on FoodChecker, you can follow the recommendations for healthier changes to improve their classification.

Simple changes can have big effects. Some changes will be subtle and customers won’t even notice. Others will be more obvious and will be welcomed by customers.

In general, you should start by reducing sources of added sugar, saturated fat or salt (such as sugary drinks, fried foods or confectionary) and/or reduce the portion sizes of these less healthy products. Then find ways to add healthier GREEN and AMBER items to your overall offerings.

Examples of GREEN foods include fresh fruit and vegetables, wholegrain breads and cereals, lean cuts of meat, legumes and reduced fat dairy products.

Healthier vending

Increasingly, organisations are looking to food suppliers to provide healthy food and drinks. To demonstrate you are able to meet these needs, vending machine and drink fridge suppliers can:

  • develop planograms that meet Victorian Government healthy food and drink policies and guidelines with relevant GREEN, AMBER and RED category percentage recommendations.
  • provide vending machine or fridge signage/decals that promote healthy products and brands.
Table of bowls with mixed salads

Catering for Good

The Catering for Good Directory has been developed to help Victorian workplaces access healthier and more sustainable catering. The Directory also highlights caterers who offer social benefits to the community.