On similar foods, more stars means a healthier choice
The Health Star Rating system uses a scale of 0.5 to 5 stars. When comparing similar foods, foods with more stars are healthier than foods with fewer stars.
The system is voluntary. You are encouraged to use health stars on most packaged foods across your full range.
Health Star Rating labels can provide information on:
- energy content (kilojoules)
- saturated fat
- sodium (salt)
- one beneficial nutrient such as calcium or fibre.
Calculate a rating for your product
It's easy to use a Health Star Rating on your food product. You don’t need to register – just calculate your product’s star rating and prepare the label.
Before you start, read the Health Star Rating system calculator and style guide which provides:
- detailed information about how the Health Star Rating is calculated
- sample calculations.
Work out the star rating for your product using the Health Star Rating Calculator. There are 2 versions:
- an online calculator that also provides the artwork for your star rating
- an excel calculator with separate artwork.
In the calculator you've chosen, enter your product's:
- nutritional information – from the nutrition information panel on the packet
- fruit, vegetable, nut, and legume content.
How ratings are calculated
The rating is based on:
- risk nutrients (saturated fat, sodium, energy, and total sugars)
- healthy ingredients such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes
- dietary fibre and protein content in some cases.
Ratings are based on the nutritional composition of 100g or 100ml of the food or drink.
The Health Star Rating is based on both the calculation and the food category. Health Star Ratings for products within a food category can vary a lot depending on their nutrient content. You can improve the rating of your product by changing the ingredients.
Label your product
Prepare the label using the appropriate star rating artwork provided with the calculator.
The Health Star Rating labelling system has 3 main parts:
- Health Star Rating
- energy content
- nutrient content.
The Health Star Rating system calculator and style guide provides examples of how these 3 parts can be used on food packaging, including specifications for the preferred graphic.
Why use the system?
The number of New Zealand companies using the Health Star Rating system continues to rise. Consumer research shows shoppers increasingly recognise and use health stars when buying food. Some choose a brand with health stars on the label over their regular brand.
Health stars may also encourage manufacturers to make their products healthier to increase their star rating.