Skip to main content

Heart Foundation retires Tick programme

Twenty-five years after it was launched to help consumers make healthier food choices, the Heart Foundation’s Tick will be gradually phased out next year.

Tick Programme Manager Deb Sue said the Heart Foundation had decided to retire the Tick programme, due to changes occurring across the nutrition landscape in New Zealand.

“While the Tick is moving off the shelves, the Heart Foundation will continue to own the trademark and be a trusted voice in the food space through our existing activities,” she said.

“The food and nutrition landscape is complex and our nutrition voice will continue to play a key role in guiding consumers through the maze of confusion, and towards making good choices for them and their families.

“Behind the scenes, we will continue to work with companies to reduce sugar and sodium in a number of food categories. We’re also continuing to help Kiwis to create nutritious meals using whole and less processed ingredients, and to make healthier choices through our recipes and visual food guide.”

Deb said there is a lot to celebrate, in terms of what the Tick achieved.

“When it was launched back in 1991, the Tick served as an important catalyst for change. It focused people’s attention on the foods they bought, by identifying products that were healthier choices in their respective product category.

“Additionally, food manufacturers reformulated forty-one products across five food categories to meet the Tick criteria. This led to the removal of 156 tonnes of saturated fat, 15.4 tonnes of trans-fat, from foods consumers purchased in New Zealand.

“Separate research also showed Tick resulted in 33 tonnes of salt being removed from three food categories in one year.”

Deb said the food industry is increasingly adopting the Trans-Tasman Government Health Star Rating System (HSR) which is now on over 2,000 products.

“Additionally, the HSR is prompting food manufacturers to reformulate products so that they gain higher star ratings.”

She said the Heart Foundation thanks the many kiwi shoppers and food manufacturers who have supported and trusted the Tick brand over the past 25 years.


Highlights - the Tick

  • The Tick had a strong presence in whole, less processed foods such as fruit and vegetables, lean meat, nuts and seeds, and legumes.
  • Ensured the inclusion of a nutrition information panel on the back of all Tick packaged foods. This was done 13 years before it was mandated by Government. Prior to the Tick, there was no nutritional information on pack.
  • The Tick worked with the food industry to reduce trans-fat levels. By 2005, all spreads with the Tick were virtually trans-fat free.
  • Tick criteria resulted in 33 tonnes of salt being removed from three food categories in one year.