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Healthy Stores 2020

Restricting merchandising of discretionary food to improve health


Monash University and project partners acknowledge the traditional owners and custodians
of the land as First Australians, and we pay respect to the Elders past, present and emerging.

*Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this website
may contain images and voices of people who may have died.

Healthy Stores 2020 celebrates a partnership between the food industry and the research community to show a pathway for the food retail sector to support better health outcomes for communities. How food is made available and promoted in food retail settings impacts what consumers purchase. Foods high in sugar, fat and/or salt are often promoted by retailers to stimulate sales. To combat the high burden of chronic disease and associated conditions confronting society, Healthy Stores 2020 aimed to halt the promotion of these foods by restricting their merchandising.

In 2018, with funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council, Monash University partnered with The Arnhem Land Progress Aboriginal Corporation (ALPA) and a group of world experts in healthy food retail research from a number of universities in Australia and Canada to conduct the Healthy Stores 2020 study, a randomised controlled trial.

Healthy Stores 2020 demonstrated that restricting merchandising of unhealthy foods can achieve both public health relevant and business relevant gains.

For the one health of people and the planet, we urge the food retail sector to follow the leadership of ALPA and remote community store owners to restrict the merchandising of unhealthy food and drinks and enable consumers to more easily choose the healthier options.

Healthy Stores 2020 was funded by an NHMRC project grant (1138629). This research is also linked to an NHMRC-funded Center of Research Excellence in Food Retail Environments for Health (APP1152968). The information and opinions contained in this paper do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the supporting organizations.

We acknowledge and pay respects to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities that contributed to this research.

  • Research and results

    Healthy Stores 2020 positively impacted the healthiness of food and beverage purchasing while still providing the customer with choice and with no observed business risk to the retailer and with no substitution effect; customers did not switch to other less healthy food and drinks.

  • Implications

    Healthy Stores 2020 as far as we understand is a world first to restrict merchandising of unhealthy food/drinks. The aim of this workshop was to co-design policy actions which are acceptable, effective and feasible to inform store policy to create healthy stores in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

  • Young artist competition

    Congratulations to our winner, Jarrod Stains of the Gamilaroi region (South West Queensland), with his artwork “Food Dreaming”. Jarrod's artwork will be featured in our HEALTHY STORiES = GOOD FOOD 2021 online series.

  • Online series

    Join us for our online series HEALTHY STORiES = GOOD FOOD inaugural event where we will be showcasing ‘good food store’ stories from around remote Australia and fostering critical discussion among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community allies on the role of stores for community food security. This live online series features stories from remote communities and leaders on ways to support healthy foods in remote community stores.

Contact us

Join us to support retailers and leaders in other remote communities to use this evidence for the benefit of their communities.

A/Prof Julie Brimblecombe

Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food

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