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Drawing on strategic management approaches to inform nutrition policy design: an applied policy analysis for salt reduction in packaged foods

Trevena, Helen, Neal, Bruce, Downs, Shauna M, Davis, Teresa, Sacks, Gary, Crino, Michelle and Thow, Anne Marie 2020, Drawing on strategic management approaches to inform nutrition policy design: an applied policy analysis for salt reduction in packaged foods, International journal of health policy and management, pp. 1-13, doi: 10.34172/ijhpm.2020.204.

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Title Drawing on strategic management approaches to inform nutrition policy design: an applied policy analysis for salt reduction in packaged foods
Author(s) Trevena, Helen
Neal, Bruce
Downs, Shauna M
Davis, Teresa
Sacks, GaryORCID iD for Sacks, Gary orcid.org/0000-0001-9736-1539
Crino, Michelle
Thow, Anne Marie
Journal name International journal of health policy and management
Start page 1
End page 13
Total pages 13
Publisher Kerman University of Medical Sciences
Place of publication Kerman, Iran
Publication date 2020-11-01
ISSN 2322-5939
2322-5939
Keyword(s) Salt Reduction
Food System Drivers
Australia
Nutrition Policy
Summary Background: Nutrition policies to improve the food environment frequently rely on voluntary business action for implementation, many have had mixed success. The aims of this study were to identify key food system drivers influencing the Australian packaged food sector and analyse how these might impact the willingness of food companies to voluntarily reduce salt in packaged foods. Methods: Business methods formed the basis of this retrospective applied policy analysis of voluntary salt reduction for the period 2013-2016 where the focal policy was the Australian Food and Health Dialogue (2009-2015). The analytical framework included political-legal, economic, social, technological (PEST) external drivers of the food system, and Porter’s Five Forces for the competitive drivers of the food system. Documentary data identifying food system drivers affecting the Australian packaged food sector (comprised of the food processing and supermarket industries) were identified through a comprehensive search of the grey and academic literatures. Results: The interplay between external and competitive food system drivers created an environment in which voluntary salt reduction was found to be an uneasy fit. A high cost of doing business, soft growth, intense competition, asymmetry of power in favour of supermarkets, and marginal consumer interest in less salty food were found likely to create commercial disincentives to invest in voluntary salt reduction above more pressing commercial imperatives. Analysis of food manufacturing industries highlighted the highly contextual nature of food system drivers. Opportunities for nutrition policy included: support for ‘shared value’ in economic discourse; and, leveraging investor, supermarket, and the largely unrealised bargaining power of consumers. Conclusion: Business frameworks can provide meaningful insights for nutrition policy on how food system drivers can thwart policy goals. Our analysis highlighted areas to incentivise voluntary action and illustrated the importance of political-legal, economic and consumer strategies for salt reduction.
Language eng
DOI 10.34172/ijhpm.2020.204
Indigenous content off
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30145530

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.