Food Safety Minister Nikki Kaye today welcomed the announcement by Foodstuffs that it will adopt the Health Star Ratings on its Pams and Budget product packaging.
“Having the support of one of the biggest food retailers in the country is a good sign of industry confidence in this new food labelling system,” Ms Kaye says.
“Foodstuffs has more than 650 wholesale and retail stores in the country, and its Pams brand is the single largest grocery brand in New Zealand. The company has said that its aim is for 1400 of its Pams product lines and 315 of its Budget-branded lines to eventually be eligible to display the Health Star Rating. It has indicated that it is likely that 100 of these product lines will carry the new labelling next year.
“This new system is a significant step in empowering New Zealanders to make healthier food choices. Having a voluntary commitment by a retailer of this scale is a very good sign for the future of the Health Star Rating system, and it is my hope that this move by Foodstuffs will encourage other food retailers to follow suit.”
Ms Kaye announced in June that the Government will be adopting the new voluntary food labelling system, which uses a star rating scale of ½ to 5 stars and is able to be used on almost all packaged food products for retail sale.
“Research has shown that the Health Star Rating system will have a positive effect on consumers’ ability to identify healthier food products, and the system has many benefits,” Ms Kaye says.
“Having nutritional information on the front of the pack will make it easier for busy shoppers to make a healthier choice. The overall nutritional rating will also enable shoppers to compare and choose healthier products from within a range.
“In addition, this system will encourage companies to change their products to be healthier.”
Foodstuffs has said that it will begin to incorporate the Health Star Ratings onto its Pams and Budget brand packaging from early 2015 as contracts are renewed and packaging updated.
For more information about the system visit www.mpi.govt.nz