FoodSwitch named one of the world’s most innovative programs

The George Institute’s FoodSwitch program has been selected to participate in LAUNCH Food – a global challenge to improve health outcomes by enabling people to make healthy food choices.

FoodSwitch is one of 12 initiatives from around the world chosen to take part in the program being run in partnership with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and a broad cross-sector network of key opinion leaders and industry players. It beat off competition from 280 other entrants from 74 countries.

The FoodSwitch program includes an app that allows users to scan a food’s barcode to get easy to understand nutritional information – delivering results for energy, saturated fat, sugar and salt and highlights healthier alternatives on the supermarket shelves. The FoodSwitch data is also helping government and industry improve the nutrition quality of the foods we buy.

The app is currently available for use in Australia, China, India, the UK, South Africa and New Zealand.

Professor Bruce Neal, director of the Food Policy Team at The George Institute for Global Health, said he was thrilled FoodSwitch was one of the 12 global innovators. “FoodSwitch works, it’s been incredibly popular here in Australia with hundreds of thousands of downloads. It’s simple to use and gives shoppers the chance to switch to a healthier option in an instant.” Most people want to eat healthy diets, we just need to help make the right choice, which is what FoodSwitch does.

“The data behind FoodSwitch is also helping Government and Industry make positive changes to our food environment – which will further improve the diet of all Australians.”

In its first year, LAUNCH Food will focus on supporting innovations such as FoodSwitch which promote people’s selection and consumption of more nutritious foods as well as projects that address availability of and access to affordable, nutritious, desirable, and sustainable food.

All of the LAUNCH Food innovators will be mentored by the LAUNCH Food network to scale their technical capabilities and increase the impact of their innovations. This will include one-on-one mentorship, access to market partners, and facilitated opportunities for investment with LAUNCH partners and others.

Professor Neal added: “It would be simply incredible if people all over the world could access FoodSwitch. This opportunity is priceless.”

Since LAUNCH began in 2008 it has sourced and supported life-changing, sustainable solutions in water, health, energy, waste, materials and green chemistry and attracted some $94,000,000 in funding.

Learn more about LAUNCH and FoodSwitch.


* This story was amended at 12.35pm, 2 February 2017.