Heart Foundation gives the Tick the flick

Late last year the Heart Foundation said it was giving its famous ‘Tick’ symbol the flick due to changing consumer demands.

Its CEO Mary Barry says the Tick was launched when there was little to guide healthier food choices.

“[The] Tick was and has always been a bold public health program based on a simple, easily recognised symbol,” Barry says.

But the development of the Health Star Rating (HSR) system, which was launched in December 2014, has superseded the Tick, the Foundation says.

“Since the launch, the HSR system has been well received by food manufacturers (more than 1500 products now carry the HSR) and is becoming sufficiently well established, and understood by shoppers. We feel we can now safely begin to retire the Tick,”

“A year after Tick’s launch in 1989, 31 companies had earned the Tick for 140 products. Today more than 2,000 products carry the Tick across 80 food categories.

“Our research has shown that over many years, the Tick has been the most recognised logo on food in Australia with up to 2.8 million Australians looking for the Tick every day when they shopped for food.”

According to the Foundation:

  • The Tick ensured the inclusion of a nutrition information panel on the back of all packaged foods, 13 years before it was mandated, (prior to the Tick, there was no information).
  • The Tick program engaged the food industry to reduce trans-fat levels. By 2005, all spreads with the Tick were virtually trans-fat-free.
  • The Tick helped reformulate everyday food. In 2013, approximately 16 tonnes of salt was removed from how a pasta sauce was manufactured.

The Heart Foundation says it will continue to work with manufacturers who retain the Tick on its products as the program winds down. The program will end over the next 12-24 months.



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