Canteen gets a healthy nudge

Healthy canteen options were a hit at Brighton Soccer Club over winter with more people choosing water over soft drinks and taking advantage of homemade food.

Council joined Southern Melbourne Primary Partnership to trial VicHealth’s Healthy Choice Nudge Program at the Brighton Soccer Club over three weekends.

VicHealth describes ‘nudge’ as a small change to increase the availability and sales of healthier food and drink without affecting profit.

Canteen operator Ann Patterson re-ordered the drinks fridge following the traffic light system used to categorise food and drink by stocking 50 percent ‘green’ and no more than 20 per cent ‘red’ items.

“Options that fall in the green (best) category like water were prominent in people’s line of sight,” Ann said.

At the end of the trial, sales of water and other ‘green’ drinks increased by 102 per cent, ‘amber’ went up a little, and there was a 45 per cent reduction in ‘red’ drinks – all without affecting the canteen’s profit.

The canteen also offered home-made soup, bananas and reduced portion sizes and ratings, for example replaced large muffins with a small cup cake.

“We need to know what our customers want, what they will pay for, and it is very pleasing to see that people are looking for healthier options,” Ann said.

The Southern Metropolitan Junior Football League will conduct a ‘nudge’ trial next year thanks to funding from the 2019-20 Bayside Community Grants program. Council is committed to fostering a healthy and active community including increased physical activity opportunities and healthy eating.

What’s in the fridge?

  • Green drink availability went up by 102% (placed at eye level)
  • Amber drinks were added
  • Red drinks went down by 45% (placed on lower shelves)
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