The Food & Grocery Council is a strong advocate for and a key player in the Health Star Rating system ­- the front of pack labelling designed to help shoppers make quicker and easier healthier food choices by comparing products in the same category.

The HSR system is about making it quicker and easier for consumers to make better informed, healthy food choices. It uses a star rating scale of half a star to 5 stars by rating the overall nutrition content and healthiness of packaged foods.

Foods with more stars have better nutritional value within their category. The system also includes nutrient information icons for energy (kilojoules), saturated fat, sodium (salt), and sugars, and can include one beneficial nutrient such as calcium or fibre.

Many member companies are progressively applying the HSR system to their products.

FGC was part of a group – including food safety officials, public health representatives, and consumer groups – that developed and tested the voluntary trans-Tasman system before it was introduced in 2014. We continue to monitor industry uptake of member companies and reports on uptake each quarter to the Food Safety division of the Ministry for Primary Industries, which monitors the New Zealand scheme.

FGC was also part of the five-year review of the system, making a submission to the Health Star Rating Advisory Committee, Canberra, Australia. The submission said that in general the scoring system works well, uptake remains strong and positive, awareness continues to increase, and utility appears to also be increasing. The submission is in the Submissions section of this website.

The industry continues to consider global developments on front-of-pack labelling and provide advice on evaluation of the HSR.

For the latest number of products in the HSR system, see story in this section.

For more information about Health Star Ratings see the Ministry for Primary Industries website: How Health Star Ratings work | NZ Government (