Woolworths, a leading supermarket chain in Australia, has unveiled a significant change to its shopping experience in an effort to promote healthier food choices among its customers. The company is introducing optional trolley 'dividers' that allow shoppers to categorize their groceries into five distinct compartments: fruit, vegetables and legumes, grains, meat, and dairy. Additionally, there's a fifth section for occasional or 'sometimes' foods, which likely pertains to less healthy snacks.
However, there's a catch. These dividers, which seem to function as bags for groceries, come with a price tag of $35. This initiative, a collaboration between Woolworths and the pharmacy and wellness platform Healthylife, comes at a time when Australians are grappling with rising living costs. Despite this, Woolworths revealed that 182,000 Australians have already registered to use Healthylife's Foodtracker app.
The introduction of these dividers is in line with the Australian Dietary Guidelines, which recommend daily consumption from five primary food groups. Woolworths' Everyday Rewards app also features a nutrient tracker developed by Healthylife, assisting shoppers in monitoring their intake of added sugars, salts, and saturated fats.
Simone Austin, a dietician and spokesperson for Healthylife, emphasized the importance of addressing modifiable risk factors such as diet, sleep, and exercise to prevent diseases. She mentioned that Australians lost "5 million years of healthy living" in 2018 due to premature death and non-fatal illnesses.
In addition to the trolley dividers, Woolworths has implemented other health-focused initiatives, including health star ratings on its brand products and reformulating products to reduce unhealthy ingredients while increasing beneficial ones.
This move by Woolworths, especially the pricing of the dividers, coincides with the ongoing cost of living crisis in Australia, with shoppers spending nearly $2,000 more annually on groceries.