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November 2021

Reach for the stars graphic. A star made up of red fruits and vegetables jpeg

Changing eating habits where people shop

A flagship partnership project will make buying heathy foods much easier for customers shopping in Latrobe Valley supermarkets.

Latrobe Community Health Service has teamed up with the Latrobe Health Assembly to deliver the place-based supermarket initiative.

The Reach for the Stars project will see the stores market all fresh fruits and vegetables as five stars, promote healthy eating messages from local residents and provide shoppers with healthy recipes.

‘Supermarkets and the foods available on their shelves really shape the diets of Australians,’ LCHS public health nutritionist Laura Duff said.

‘We are excited to be working with supermarkets to encourage customers to shop, cook and eat healthy foods.

‘Working together to increase the sales of healthy foods is a win-win for health, customers and business.’

The 2017 Victorian Population Health Survey found four per cent of Latrobe Valley adults ate enough vegetables and 13.9 percent consumed sugary drinks every day.

The LCHS health promotion team has been looking at how to improve the population’s eating habits – starting at the supermarket.

The team established a steering group, conducted a literature review of existing supermarket initiatives, ran focus groups with Latrobe Valley residents to test marketing material and approached supermarkets to gauge their interest.

Proposed initiatives include posters that remind people all fruit and vegetables are five stars, shelf tags that point people to 4.5 and five-star health rated products, healthy eating messages from Latrobe Valley locals, healthy recipes and a social media and communications campaign.

‘Through Reach for the Stars, we’re embracing well-known marketing techniques to take the guess work out of finding fresh and healthy foods,’ Ms Duff said.

‘Latrobe shoppers who were part of our focus groups told us they saw the potential in the project, with many saying it will help people eat healthier, learn about healthy choices and think more critically about what they’re putting in their trolleys.’

Reach for the Stars is an initiative of the Latrobe Health Innovation Zone with funding by the Latrobe Health Assembly in partnership with the Victorian Government.

The steering group is aiming for a pilot launch date of March, 2022.