The Heart Foundation Tick
Nestlé recognises the importance of the Heart Foundation Tick and currently have 29 products registered in the New Zealand Tick Programme.
What is the Heart Foundation Tick Programme?
The Tick is an independent programme which encourages food manufacturers to improve the nutritional quality of their food products. The Tick Programme aims to ensure consumers are easily able to identify a healthier choice within a food category. All Tick approved products can be identified on pack by the Heart Foundation Tick Trade Mark.
Why are Tick foods a better choice?
The programme sets strict nutritional criteria across 59 different food categories including over 1000 foods in the supermarket. The strict criteria encourages food companies to lower the levels of “negative” nutrients such as saturated fat, trans fat, sodium and kilojoules (energy) and increase levels of “positive” nutrients such as calcium and fibre in the food you buy.
The Tick is on a wide range of products, including fresh foods such as milk, fish, meat, poultry, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. All fresh fruit and vegetables qualify for the Tick.
Why choose Tick approved foods?
The Heart Foundation Tick sets a nutritional standard for each food category, so when you pick foods carrying the Tick you can be sure that the product you are choosing is a healthier choice in that food category. These nutrition standards are under continuous review so food companies are constantly challenged to make nutritional improvements. Foods carrying the Tick are a better choice in their category, for example bread with the Tick is a healthier choice of bread because it will have less salt (sodium) and more fibre than others that may not have the Tick. It is important to note the Tick is optional, so if a product does not carry the Heart Foundation Tick, but has the same nutritional composition as a product with the Tick, then it can be just as good a choice. The Tick is a time saver; it helps you make a healthier choice when you don’t have time to read all the nutrition information on food labels.
Foods displaying the Heart Foundation Tick are not specifically designed for people with heart disease or any other disease. Rather they are a healthier choice for the general population and all people who are concerned about their overall health and well-being.
How does a product become Tick approved?
Food manufacturers cannot just choose to buy the Heart Foundation Tick. Their products must first go through rigorous independent testing to ensure they comply with the nutritional criteria within its category. Once the Tick is on pack, around 125 foods are randomly audited each year to ensure they continue to meet the strict nutrition standards. If a food item does not qualify for the Tick, the Heart Foundation can work with the food company to improve the nutritional profile of the product.
This fact sheet contains general information. Please consult your healthcare professional for specific advice for your personal situation.