Nikki Kaye

The Government of New Zealand will implement a new star rating scale from ½ to 5 stars on all packaged food products to help shoppers make healthy food choices.

Minister for Food Safety Nikki Kaye said that the system was developed as part of the Australian and New Zealand Ministers’ Food Forum.

"Today at a meeting of Australian and New Zealand ministers in Sydney, I have confirmed that we will be joining Australia in this initiative," Kaye added.

The number of stars is determined by an algorithm that considers the food product’s overall nutritional value, with more stars indicating better value.

The Ministry for Primary Industries supported the health star rating system along with the New Zealand Front of Pack Labelling advisory group, which consists of food safety officials, public health representatives, consumer groups, and representatives from the food industry.

The groups believe that the overall nutritional rating will allow shoppers to compare and choose healthier products from within a range, encouraging companies to change their products to be healthier.

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The first health star labels are expected to be seen on products within six to 12 months.

Image: Minister for Food Safety Nikki Kaye. Photo: courtesy of Crown Copyright.