CHOICE targets manufacturers “refusing” to roll out health star ratings

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Consumer advocacy group CHOICE has launched a campaign calling on Kellogg’s and 6 other food manufacturers to roll out the front of pack health star rating on their products.

The star rating scheme was developed by industry, public health and consumer experts and governments to help shoppers quickly compare the healthiness of products. The star rating takes into account the amount of salt, sugar and saturated fat in products per 100 grams.

“Food manufacturers have been on notice since June last year to implement the new health star scheme however iconic brands such as Kellogg’s, McCain and Mars are still refusing to serve up the information consumers need,” says CHOICE spokesperson Tom Godfrey.

CHOICE’s campaign targets some of the biggest food manufacturers in Australia – Kellogg’s, McCain, Mars, PepsiCo, Mondolez, George Weston and Goodman Fielder – and calls on consumers to ask for health star ratings on these companies’ products: https://choice.good.do/HSR

“The system works best when shoppers can compare several products in a category, like-for-like. For example, right now you can walk down a breakfast cereal aisle and see a range of health stars already on different brands, but there are some obvious gaps.”

“It’s just not good enough that a major player like Kellogg’s,that sells popular brands Just Right, Special K, Coco Pops and Nutri-Grain, are withholding basic health information and that’s why we have launched this campaign.”

“Kellogg’s should be embracing the new system and celebrating the fact that Just Right and All Bran receive 4 and 5 stars respectively. On the flip side, Australians deserve to know that Nutri-Grain and Coco Pops get 2 and 1.5 stars respectively.”

“We congratulate the food companies that have taken the initiative and have health stars already on their packs. The two retail giants, Coles and Woolworths have stars on their private labels and Sanitarium, Nestle, Uncle Tobys and Lion are all getting involved with products already displaying stars and many more on the way.”

Yesterday (March 16) Australian cereal manufacturers came under fire for promoting health claims on their packaging, despite some products being a third sugar.

The Obesity Policy Coalition (OPC) said these manufacturers are “potentially misleading consumers” by promoting health claims on their packaging.

Companies that have so far failed to roll out health star ratings, and their brands:

  • George Weston (TipTop)
  • Goodman Fielder (Helga’s, Vogel’s, Wonder White, Lawson’s, White Wings)
  • Kellogg’s (Just Right, Special K, Rice Bubbles, Coco Pops)
  • Mars (Dolmio, KanTong, MasterFoods, Uncle Ben's, Mars confectionary)
  • McCain (Frozen veggies, frozen meals, pizzas)
  • Mondolez (Kraft, Belvita and Philadelphia)
  • PepsiCo  (Smiths, Quaker, Doritos, Red Rock, GrainWaves)

Kellogg’s cereal brands and their Health Star Rating:

  • Just Right 4 stars
  • Special K Original 4 stars
  • All Bran Original 5 stars
  • Coco Pops 2 stars
  • Crunchy Nut 2 stars
  • Fruit Loops 2 stars
  • Mini-Wheats Little Bites Original 4.5 stars
  • Nutri-Grain 2 stars
  • Rice Bubbles 3 stars
  • Sultana Bran 4 stars