Awareness of the Health Star Rating system increasing
New research commissioned by Australian government ministers has found that awareness of the Australian Federal Government’s Health Star Rating system is increasing.
A report tabled to the Australian and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation held in Canberra last Friday 20 November 2015 found that 42 per cent of people are now aware of the Health Star Rating system. This compares with 33 per cent as at April 2015.
The study also found that approximately one in six people say they have changed their shopping behaviour due to the system.
“Members [member States and Territories] welcomed the news that in Australia at least 55 companies have adopted the voluntary Health Star Rating System, and that there are now over 1, 500 products displaying the HSR graphic,” said a communique from the Forum.
The Ministerial Forum also discussed the move by some of Australia’s biggest food companies to reformulate some of their products so they can achieve higher ratings.
“Reformulation includes reducing salt, sugar and saturated fat and in some cases, increases the content of ingredients with nutritional benefits such as fibre,” the communique stated.
In October 2015 Australian Food News reported that Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain had a recipe change which resulted in a 4-star health rating.
A third phase of consumer and industry education on the Health Star Rating system is expected to be launched by government in the first half of 2016.