August 9th, 2022

Laura Baddeley our Nutritionist, Emily Taylor (Buyer) and Eve Bransgrove (Group Operations Manager) attended the Metcash Food Expo on the Gold Coast. This event is one of the leading trade events for the food retail industry with all the big brands on display.

Jennie Collis from Independent Grocers supported the ALPA representatives. We had the opportunity to share ALPA’s nutritional values with food manufacturers, those priorities being to help us improve the affordability and availability of healthy foods and drinks for our customers.

It is so important for the food industry to be aware of the realities of doing business in the bush, where prices are higher due to higher freight, higher operational costs and significantly lower buying power compared to the leading supermarket chains. These challenges produce the existing price gap between remote and urban grocery stores. Food manufacturers can help remote stores reduce this price gap to make healthy options more affordable for remote communities.

Food manufacturers are also in a powerful position to improve health outcomes across Australia. They decide how much sugar, salt and saturated fat goes into products. They influence how these products are sold to consumers. The ALPA team highlighted the pressing need to increase the availability of healthy options in the market, so we can make them available to our customers.

Our team searched for new products that align with ALPA’s Health and Nutrition Policy and probed food manufacturers about product reformulation.

'When food manufacturers tweak their products to have less sugar, salt and/or saturated fat, it has a wide-reaching impact on population health. We have seen leading soft drink companies to reduce the sugar in their drinks by up to 40%!'

How amazing if more companies did this?

The Metcash Food Expo allowed us to advocate for these changes. Nutritionists can and should be working alongside food manufacturers to highlight nutrition concerns and work together to find solutions. We thank Metcash for providing our team with the opportunity to have these conversations.