Kellogg Australia adopts health star ratings

By Kacey Culliney contact

- Last updated on GMT

Kellogg cereals will have health star ratings between 1.5 and 5
Kellogg cereals will have health star ratings between 1.5 and 5

Related tags: Nutrition, Cereal, Wheat

Kellogg will run the voluntary health star rating system across its entire cereal range in Australia and New Zealand by the end of 2015, kick-starting with a handful of products in June.

Kellogg came under fire last month from consumer advocacy group Choice who said it was “just not good enough” it had not yet adopted the scheme​. 

The front-of-pack health star ratings system considers the overall nutritional profile of packaged foods, including salt, sugar and saturated fat, and rates the products with stars from 0.5 to 5 – the more stars, the healthier the product.

Under the ratings, 70% of Kellogg cereals (26 products) will run with stars between four and five.

Products like All-Bran Original and Guardian have five stars; the likes of Special K Fruit & Nut and Sustain four stars; Sultana Bran Extra and Rice Bubbles have three; and products such as Coco Pops Chex and Crunchy Nut Clusters two stars. The lowest-ranking cereal is Crispix with a 1.5 health star rating.

Speaking to BakeryandSnacks.com, Michelle Celander, senior nutrition and regulatory affairs manager at Kellogg Australia, said the firm had in fact been working on adopting the system since late last year.

“With the largest cereal portfolio in Australia and New Zealand of almost 40 different products and over 115 different cereal packs, it has taken time to sell through our existing packaging and update our pack designs,”​ she said.

Kellogg did not want to commit to the health star system and not be able to roll up products quickly, she explained.

“With our packs starting to appear in June, now is the right time to share this news.”

‘No silver bullet’ to nutrition

Celander said the health star ratings should provide consumers with information to easily make decisions in the cereal aisle.

woman_consumer_eating_breakfast_cerealOPTIMIZED

“There is no silver bullet, one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to nutrition, but anything that helps consumers make informed choices is a step in the right direction. Health star ratings will help to make comparisons within a particular category easier for consumers,”​ she said.

However, she said the ingredients list and overall nutrition profile was still an important consideration, particularly as the health star ratings didn’t account for micronutrients found on the Nutrition Information Panel.

“As new scientific evidence becomes available, we can expect the algorithm that calculates the health star rating to be adjusted too, to reflect the latest nutrition thinking.”

Star-inspired innovation?

Kellogg will run the star system on all its cereal products this year, but for the time being will continue to use daily intake labelling on its bars and snacks.

Asked if the star system had prompted any reformulation efforts or would do in the future, Celander said: “Health stars is certainly one of the lenses that we consider within our renovation and innovation plans.”

Last year for example, Kellogg reformulated its Special K cereals to add in oats as well as slash sodium levels by 15%​.

Kellogg portfolio health star ratings

All-Bran Original

5*

All-Bran Wheat Flakes

5*

Guardian

5*

All-Bran Apple Flavoured Crunch

4.5*

All-Bran High Fibre Muesli Almond & Apricot with Sultanas and Pepita Seeds

4.5*

All-Bran High Fibre Muesli Cranberry & Pink Lady Apple with Pepita Seeds

4.5*

All-Bran Wheat Flakes Honey Almond

4.5*

Mini-Wheats Little Bites Chocolate

4.5*

Mini-Wheats Little Bites Original

4.5*

Special K Advantage

4.5*

Special K Nourish with Apricot, Cranberry & Almond

4.5*

Special K Nourish with Blackcurrant, Apple & Pepitas

4.5*

Special K Nourish with Wildberry, Raisin & Pepita

4.5*

Sultana Bran Buds

4.5*

Sultana Bran

4.5*

Kellogg's Five Whole Grain Muesli® Sun-dried Apricot, Cranberries & Pepitas

4.5*

Kellogg's Five Whole Grain Muesli® Roasted Almonds, Coconut & Flame Raisins

4.5*

Special K Oats & Honey

4.5*

Just Right Original

4*

Rice Bubbles Multigrain

4*

Special K Forest Berries

4*

Special K Fruit & Nut

4*

Special K Original

4*

Special K Whole Grain Clusters with Protein Cranberry, Pepitas & Almonds

4*

Special K Whole Grain Clusters with Protein Flame Raisin & Red Apple

4*

Sustain

4*

Corn Flakes

3.5*

Sultana Bran Extra

3*

Rice Bubbles

3*

Coco Pops

2*

Coco Pops Chex

2*

Crunchy Nut Clusters

2*

Crunchy Nut Corn Flakes

2*

Froot Loops

2*

Frosties

2*

Nutri-Grain

2*

Crispix

1.5*

Related topics: Policy, Food safety, Oceania

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