Healthy Picks FAQs


The Healthy Picks app gives you immediate, easy-to-understand nutritional information on ALDI packaged foods. It has been developed by food and health policy experts at The George Institute for Global Health using the same independent, science-based logic as their FoodSwitch app.

You can scan any ALDI product to see its nutritional information as a Heath Star Rating (HSR) or Traffic Light Label. You can also see a list of healthier alternatives to the one you scanned.


Each product you see in the Healthy Picks app has been rated for its amount of energy, saturated fat, sugar and sodium, as well as other important food components including protein, fibre, fruit, vegetables nuts and legumes, and for some products, calcium. The Health Star Rating considers all of these factors to give you an idea of how healthy the product is overall: a lower star rating indicates a less healthy choice and a higher star rating indicates a healthier choice.


Each product you see in the Healthy Picks app has been rated for its amount of energy, total fat, saturated fat, sugars and salt. The ‘traffic light’ ratings tell you if a product is low (green), medium (amber) or high (red) in these food components, based on widely-accepted nutritional standards.


The Traffic Light label red, amber and green classifications are based on the UK Government scheme and relate to recommended dietary intake values for an adult. On the UK labels, energy is displayed as grey. 


If the manufacturer has labelled a product to be suitable for vegetarians, the product will be given a vegetarian status, indicated by the word “VEGETARIAN” in green writing in the top right hand corner. Vegetarian healthier alternatives are identified by a green side bar. We advise you to always check the label.


The Healthy Picks app identifies healthier alternatives by comparing the overall nutritional value of similar foods based on the Health Star Rating score. It takes into account the amount of energy, saturated fat, sugar and sodium per 100g, as well as other important food components including protein, fibre, fruit, vegetables, nuts and legumes, and for some products, calcium. 


The Healthy Picks app displays the values for both salt and sodium in the app – salt (g)/serve in Traffic Light Labelling mode, and sodium (mg)/100g in Health Star Rating mode. The nutrition information panel of products lists sodium. To get the salt content in grams, you need to multiply the sodium by 2.5 and then divide by 1000. The Healthy Picks app has already done this calculation for you. 


The content of food products is generally expressed in two different ways: per serve and per 100g. Currently there is no standard to determining serve sizes for Australian foods and manufacturers are free to decide the most appropriate serving size for their products. Comparing nutrient values “per 100 grams” allows for more consistent comparison across products, and is the approach used by the Healthy Picks app.

When viewing in Traffic Light Labelling mode, the red, amber and green classifications are determined based on per 100g/ml values but the key nutrients are presented per serve, in line with the UK Government scheme on which the traffic light system is based.

When viewing in Health Star Rating mode, the key nutrient values (sodium, saturated fat, sugar and energy) are presented per 100g/ml.  

The ranking of healthier alternatives in both modes is based on the per 100g/ml nutrient content for each product.


The product information is derived from information displayed on the pack label. This information has been collected and stored on an independent database operated by The George Institute.


Food manufacturers have a legal obligation to display the correct information on the label. The database containing this information is updated regularly by The George Institute. Occasionally errors can occur in collecting the data. If you see an error you can use the “Feedback” functionality in the app. If an error is confirmed, it will be corrected and the change should be reflected in the next data update.


The Healthy Picks app only displays nutritional information for ALDI products. You can scan all products in the ALDI store but only ALDI products will show nutritional information and can be displayed as a healthier alternative.


Healthier alternatives are not displayed for non-ALDI products. Instead you are shown a list of similar products to the item scanned, ranked in order of healthiest to least healthy, based on the Health Star Rating score.


The Healthy Picks app is designed to be a guide for the general healthy population. People with particular health issues should consult their healthcare professional for tailored nutrition advice. 


We have a team working on reviewing and updating the information on a daily basis. The Healthy Picks app will prompt when an update is available for download. 


To create a new list: 

  • Go to the “Lists” page
  • Click on “Add list” or click on the “+” icon in the top banner
  • Enter the name of a new list in the text box that says “Name of list”
  • Tap on “OK”

To add a product to a list: 

  • Click on the list you would like to add a product to
  • Click on “Add products” or click on the “+” icon in the top banner
  • Scan in the product(s) you would like to add to the list
  • Click “Done” when finished

Alternatively, you can add lists in the following way:

  • Scan a product or select one from your “Recents”
  • Swipe to the right or left of the product details to expand the information area
  • Tap on “Add to list” to go to the “Lists” page
  • Add the product to an existing list by tapping on that list or create a new list to add the product to by following the prompts (and as outlined above)

To delete a product from a list: 

  • Open the list from the “Lists” tab
  • Tap the edit pen icon in the navigation bar
  • Tap on the red circle or “Delete” button that appears to the side of the product you wish to remove

To delete a list: 

  • Go to the “Lists” page
  • Tap the edit pen button in the navigation bar on the “Lists” screen
  • Tap on the red circle or bin that appears to the left of the list you wish to remove
  • Tap on the red “Delete” button that appears on the right

Many everyday packaged foods can be high in salt, fat (including saturated fat) and sugar. They can also be high in energy (kilojoules). All these factors can contribute to health problems such as obesity, hypertension (high blood pressure), type 2 diabetes and high blood cholesterol. In turn, these can lead to a greater risk of heart attack, stroke and some cancers. 

Making even small changes to our diets, like consuming less salt, sugar, fat (especially saturated fat) and energy (kilojoules), can prevent many of these health problems. 

Currently, packaged product nutrition information is mostly restricted to a nutrition information panel. This can be tricky to find, read and interpret, often making it difficult for consumers to be informed and make healthier food choices. 


Around the world, compulsory food composition labelling on packaged food products needs to include a nutrition label. This is often found on the back of the product in very small print. Studies show that the nutrition label only influences the food purchases of a small minority of people who are very motivated and well informed about how to make healthier food choices. Many studies suggest that front-of-pack labelling systems can help consumers interpret the information and make healthier food choices. 


In June 2014, the Australian government agreed to the voluntary implementation of an interpretive Health Star Rating front-of-pack labelling system for packaged foods in Australia. The HSR system is based on an algorithm that awards a star rating, based on the quantity of specific food components within the product, which gives you an idea of how healthy the product is overall – a lower star rating indicates a less healthy choice and a higher star rating indicates a healthier choice.

The HSR system then makes it easier for you to compare similar products within a food category, based on its number of stars. This highlights that while all foods can have a place in your diet, some are better for you than others.


Research shows many people find colour-coded labelling easier to understand than other systems. The Traffic Light Labels are coloured, based on 100g of a product and display the amount of the nutrient per serve in grams. This helps consumers compare products quickly and easily. If a specific nutrient of a product has any nutritional data missing, it will appear in grey with a dash (-) under the nutrient that is missing. 


iPhone users can download the Healthy Picks app from the App Store, either online or on their device.

Android smartphone users can download the Healthy Picks app from Google Play2, either online or on your Android smartphone. 

The app is free of charge. An internet connection (mobile data or Wi Fi) is required to download it and to share information by social media and email. Standard usage charges may apply if using mobile data – check with your internet and mobile service providers for more information. 


The Healthy Picks app works on: 

  • Apple iPhone devices that run on iOS version 7.1 or later, that have a camera with auto-focus
  • Android2 smartphones running Android version 4.3 and above, that have a camera with auto-focus

Please note: If you’re using a smartphone without a camera capable of auto-focus, the Healthy Picks app may not be compatible with your device. Without auto-focus, the pictures of the barcode will be blurry and the Healthy Picks app will be unable to identify the product. 


If you’re having trouble scanning with a compatible device, here are some tips that may help you scan more easily: 

  • Shake or tap your phone to force the camera to auto-focus
  • Try again in a different light setting to avoid glare and shadows
  • Check the auto-focus capability of the camera and try tapping on the screen at far and near objects to see if the focus changes
  • Try holding the object further away from the camera and make sure it doesn’t fill the whole screen, so that the auto-focus can find the barcode
  • If you are using an Android phone, try clearing your cache and then restarting your phone
  • If all else fails, completely uninstalling and downloading the app from scratch sometimes fixes the issue – please note, this will delete any lists you have currently in the app

Note: If you’re using a smartphone without a camera capable of auto-focus, the Healthy Picks app may not be compatible with this device. Without auto-focus, the pictures of the barcode will be blurry and the Healthy Picks app will be unable to identify the products


The Healthy Picks app is free and available to everyone in Australia who uses an Apple or Android smartphone that supports the Healthy Picks app. 


The app is free of charge. 


The Healthy Picks app has been developed specifically for use in ALDI stores. If you use the Healthy Picks app outside of an ALDI store it will likely not recognise the scanned item. If the item is recognised, it will only list ALDI products that are similar to the item scanned.


The Healthy Picks app has been developed specifically for use in an ALDI store within Australia. If you use the Healthy Picks app outside of Australia it will likely not recognise the scanned items.

 

See the full Terms and Conditions for more information.

  1. iTunes, iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc. 
  2. Android and Google Play are trademarks of Google Inc. 
     

End User Licence Agreement

© The George Institute for Global Health 2017.

The Healthy Picks app provides nutritional information and healthier alternatives based on a scientific algorithm independently developed by The George Institute for Global Health. Its purpose is to provide independent information on foods and should not be seen as an endorsement of any particular brand of food.

The information has been developed and reviewed by health professionals and to the best of our knowledge is current and based on reputable sources of evidence at the time of publishing. Whilst every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the data, no warranty of this accuracy is provided. Some data required by the algorithm has been estimated to enable ranking of products. All users, especially those with special dietary requirements or food sensitivities, should assess the accuracy and relevance of this information for their personal circumstances.

The information should be used as a guide only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional medical advice. The George Institute and related entities are not liable for any loss or damage you suffer arising out of the use of, or reliance on, the information, except that which cannot be excluded by law. For further Terms of Use please visit http://www.georgeinstitute.org.au/sites/default/files/The Healthy Picks app-terms-o....

We recommend that you consult your doctor or other qualified health professional if you have questions or concerns about your, or your family’s health.