Significant transformations are needed throughout the global food system to meet climate, biodiversity and health objectives. There is substantial evidence of the global need for such food system transformations but much less attention has been paid to how transformations towards more healthy and sustainable food systems might play out at the national level. Global targets and goals are necessary to provide a roadmap for change and draw attention to the urgent need for food system transformation, but global-level analyses can mask important differences between national-level food systems and the challenges and opportunities for transformation in each country. Given this, a better understanding is needed of how food system transformations may differ between countries, where commonalities lie and where a ‘one size fits all’ approach will not be effective. This report adds to a critical conversation around how food system transformations may vary at the country level by putting the spotlight on four countries (Brazil, Colombia, Kenya, UAE) as illustrative examples, to demonstrate the myriad ways in which food system transformations might be similar or vary between countries. While this is not the first report on food system transformations at the national level, this report is novel in that it: 1) assesses food systems from a conservation lens to highlight important environmental dimensions and provide insights for organizations working on the ground; 2) uses a typology of food systems to reduce the complexity of analysis; 3) identifies a handful of transformation levers that can be assessed across all countries and; 4) uses a local context analysis to assess the potential of levers to transform a particular food system type and test the validity and usefulness of the typology.