Countdown’s health and nutrition targets

17 October 2016: As part of the retail industry’s pledge under the Government’s Obesity Action Plan, Countdown has today announced its health and nutrition targets.

Countdown intends to:

  1. Nutritionally review 1,000 private label products by December 2018, and where necessary, reformulate these products, targeting sugar, saturated fat and sodium reductions across these products.
  2. Increase fresh fruit and vegetable sales over the next year, and continue to roll out dedicated health food sections in Countdown stores.
  3. Have at least one confectionery-free checkout in 95 per cent of Countdown stores by the end of 2016.
  4. As part of its online shopping website, introduce nutritional information for customers.
  5. Continue to provide fresh Free Fruit for Kids across Countdown stores, delivering more than 50,000 pieces of fruit each week, as well as fresh food inspiration through Feed Four for $15.
  6. Continue to introduce Health Star Ratings on private label products by December 2018.  Currently 394 products are on shelf with this new rating.

“Countdown is committed to supporting initiatives that encourage healthy choices, as part of the wider efforts of Government and industry to address health challenges in New Zealand ” says James Walker, General Manager of Corporate Affairs.

Heart Foundation Food and Nutrition Manager Dave Monro says “Countdown has a long history of working towards the Heart Foundation’s reformulation targets, by reducing salt and sugar levels in its processed foods.”

“It’s great to see Countdown’s ongoing commitment to this work, as well as the introduction of a number of other targeted and measurable initiatives. While this pledge represents a great start, there is still a lot of opportunity for Countdown and other major industry players to do more, in this space.”

Sarah Hanrahan, Programme Leader, New Zealand Nutrition Foundation says that they have been working closely with Countdown as part of their Just Cook Programme.

“Without the support of industry partners such as Countdown we would not be able to complete these types of activities. We are delighted that they have renewed their sponsorship for 2017, “she says.

A copy of the Countdown’s (Retail NZ) Pledge on Reducing Childhood Obesity can be found at

Fresh Choice and Super Value are also signing up, and will release their targets in due course.

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