The Health Star Ratings system is a government led initiative that provides an easy way to compare the nutritional profile of packaged foods.
Under the system, launched in December, food products are scored between half a star and five stars according to their energy, fat, sugar, and salt content.
Kellogg’s was previously criticised by consumer advocacy group, Choice Australia, for not signing to the labelling system, however, according to Kellogg’s, more than 70 per cent of its cereals, or 26 products in the range, have a rating of between four and five health stars, with the total range spanning one and a half to five stars.
From today, consumers can check Kellogg Australia’s website for the ratings of its cereals, as products rollout on shelves over the coming months with the new packaging in a phased approach.
Kellogg’s senior nutrition and regulatory affairs manager, Dr Michelle Celander, said the company has been working on the implementation of health star ratings since late last year.
“We are pleased to be adding Health Stars as another way to help shoppers make informed choices for themselves and their families, alongside other important nutritional information on our packs such as serve size and nutrients per serve. With products carrying health stars beginning to reach shelves in the next six weeks, we feel that now is the right time to let Australians know about the packaging updates and Health Star Ratings of their favourite cereals,” Dr Celander said.
Kellogg’s All Bran, Sultana Bran, Guardian, Coco Pops, and Special K Nourish variants will be the first to carry health stars.
Health Star Ratings will be rolled out across all Kellogg cereals, the largest portfolio of cereal products of any manufacturer in Australia and New Zealand.
“We are proud to offer a wide variety of breakfast cereals. We really do have something for everyone and if someone is looking for a four or five star cereal, we have 26 to choose from. As part of our positive nutrition journey, we are continuously seeking ways to bring consumers more of what they want with several exciting new offerings to be released in 2015 and beyond,” Dr Celander said.
Choice spokesperson, Tom Godrey, says Kellogg’s signing up to the system is a “great win for consumers”.
“Kellogg’s was one of the biggest food manufacturers in Australia not implementing health stars and we are thrilled that they have listened to consumers and will be rolling out the scheme on all of their breakfast cereals,” Godfrey said.
The move comes after 4200 supporters joined a CHOICE campaign to tell Kellogg’s they wanted health stars on their products.
“Kellogg’s coming on board with health stars will fill a large gap in the breakfast cereal aisle and now this aisle in the supermarket will be the first one with all the major food manufacturers on board with health stars,” Godfrey said.
“While it is great to see Kellogg’s is on board, iconic brands such as McCain, PepsiCo, and Mars are still refusing to serve up the information consumers need.”
Choice’s campaign will continue to target the biggest food manufacturers in Australia who are holding out against the star rating system – McCain, Mars, PepsiCo, Mondolez, George Weston, and Goodman Fielder – and calls on consumers to ask for health star ratings on these companies’ products.