Recent results from monitoring of the Health Star Rating system in Australia and New Zealand show that the system is achieving its objectives. The Health Star Rating Advisory Committee has also been informed by Nestlé that the system will be removed from Milo powder pending the outcome of the five year review.
The Health Star Rating (HSR) Advisory Committee has been informed by Nestlé that the HSR graphic will be removed from Milo powder pending the outcome of the independent five year review of the HSR system. This has been widely reported in the media, along with comments from key public health and consumer advocates. The Committee sincerely respects Nestlé’s decision and acknowledges that the application of Health Stars to Milo powder affected consumer trust in the system.
The Committee understands that Nestlé applied a HSR in accordance with the “as prepared” rules of the current HSR guidelines. These rules are currently being reappraised and the Committee intends to shortly release modelling information and an options discussion paper to clarify the rules and resolve this issue. Further information will be provided at http://healthstarrating.gov.au/internet/healthstarrating/publishing.nsf/Content/stakeholder-engagement. Reports from previous workshops on the “as prepared” rules are also available.
Nestlé has indicated that it remains a dedicated supporter of the HSR system and the Committee appreciates Nestlé’s commitment to maintain the system on over 300 products in Australia and 180 products in New Zealand.
Recent results from monitoring of the HSR system in Australia and New Zealand show that the system is achieving its objectives. As of September 2017, around 8,400 products have displayed the HSR graphic in Australian supermarkets, representing a commitment by over 150 companies. By the end of 2017 over 3,700 products bore the HSR label in New Zealand.
Monitoring of consumer awareness, attitudes and interaction with the HSR system also points to improvements in how people understand and use the system. A majority agree that the HSR system helps with identifying healthier options within the same food category (74 percent) and almost two-thirds reported that their confidence in the system is high or somewhat high (65 percent).
Previous consumer research indicates that people are using the HSR system to choose healthier options within product categories and that this behaviour change is lasting. Other research has highlighted that food manufacturers and retailers are reformulating products to reduce their salt, sugar and saturated fat content.
The independent five year review of the HSR system is progressing through workshops across Australia and in New Zealand and a number of discussion papers will be released for stakeholder feedback mid-year. The Committee encourages all with an interest in food production, labelling and nutrition to look out for opportunities to take part in the review. Further information is available at http://healthstarrating.gov.au/internet/healthstarrating/publishing.nsf/Content/formal-review-of-the-system-after-five-years.
Please also check http://healthstarrating.gov.au/internet/healthstarrating/publishing.nsf/Content/hsrac-committee-meet for further updates on HSR Advisory Committee activities.