Introduction to health and nutrition content claims

Find out about health and nutrition content claims for food and drink, and how they are regulated in New Zealand.

What are health claims?

Health claims are voluntary statements that refer to a relationship between a food and a health benefit.

There are 2 types of health claims:

  • general level health claims or nutrition content claims
  • high-level health claims

General level health claim

A general level health claim links a food product to a health effect that relates to general health and wellbeing. An example might be ‘Calcium is good for strong bones’.

High-level health claim

A high-level health claim identifies products that can protect against a serious disease or a risk factor for a serious disease. An example might be ‘Diets high in calcium and vitamin D may reduce the risk of osteoporosis’.

What are nutrition content claims

A nutrition content claim states how much of a nutrient or substance is in a food. Examples might be, 'a good source of vitamin C' or 'gluten-free'.

Making a nutrition content claim

Making and substantiating a health claim

Health claims must be backed by robust scientific evidence. They are only permitted on foods that meet certain nutrition requirements.

Making and substantiating a health claim

Nutrition and health claims regulation

New Zealand and Australia have a common regulation for nutrition and health claims called "Standard 1.2.7 — Nutrition, Health and Related Claims". Standard 1.2.7 states the requirements for making a health claim.

Standard 1.2.7

This regulation applies to any claims made on labels or in advertising. Advertising includes:

  • online
  • through social media
  • on television, radio, and in print.

Survey reports

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has carried out surveys of the nutrition and health claims being made in New Zealand.

New Zealand nutrition and health claims baseline survey 2014/15 [PDF, 349 KB] 

New Zealand nutrition and health claims survey 2016/17 [PDF, 264 KB] 

Investment and initiatives supporting health claims

Support is available to help the research and development of health claims.

The main support in New Zealand is from:

The High-Value Nutrition National Science Challenges

New Zealand Inc strategies — MFAT website

The Food Innovation Network

Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures

Who to contact

If you have questions about health claims, email

Last reviewed: