Australia-based supermarket chain Woolworths has announced changes at its checkouts to encourage healthy eating habits for customers.

The retailer will replace the confectionery products at checkouts with food choices that have a Health Star Rating (HSR) of 3.5 or above.

The new food range includes Woolworths Natural Almonds 70g, Carmans Nut Bar and Cobs Natural Sea Salt Popcorn 20g.

The company will continue to feature ‘sometimes foods’ and treats such as chips on their aisles. However, the retailer will also display snacking options with an HSR of 3.5 or above on each promotional end.

Woolworths aims to expand its offering of healthier options over the course of the year, subject to customers’ reactions.

Woolworths supermarkets managing director Natalie Davis said: “These are small but important steps in the right direction as we work to make healthier choices easier for our customers.

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“There’s no replacement for wholesome food like fruit and veg, but removing kids’ confectionery from checkouts and helping customers make small swaps on food they pick up at the end of an aisle or at the checkout can help make a positive impact on their shopping habits.

“We also know value and affordability are important to our customers, so we’ve been very deliberate in selecting options that are healthier and great value to take the stress out of picking up a quick snack or special on-the-go.

“This includes a focus on lower pricing for healthier products through initiatives like our seasonal Prices Dropped programme. In our latest Prices Dropped for Autumn program, more than half of our sales came from healthier products (3.5 HSR and above).

“We’re also seeing lower prices on some vegetables right now and are encouraging all our customers to take advantage and enjoy some more fresh Australian veg this winter.”

The new initiatives will complement the company’s existing programmes that are designed to assist customers in making healthier choices.

Last year, Woolworths increased the range of healthier options, including wholegrain crackers and bars.

Earlier this month, the retailer announced its aims to replace more than 3,000 internal combustion engine vehicles with 100% electric vehicles (EV) by 2030.