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Q: do you pay for star ratings? How does it work?

- Erin, submitted via Fat Mum Slim for an article about Open for Breakfast

A:  

We definitely don’t. You can’t buy stars… you have to earn them! It’s what’s in our cereal that gets the stars.

The Health Star Rating system is a Government-led initiative. This is how it works.

Companies who want to put Health Star Ratings on their packs use a calculator (or formula) to figure out how many stars a product gets. The formula is based on the Australian Dietary Guidelines. The calculator looks at many things including the fibre and protein content as well as how much salt, sugar or saturated fat is in it. The system then gives the food a star rating depending on all those factors.  You can learn more on the Health Star Ratings’ website here.

We’ve updated all of our cereal boxes so you can see the stars on the front of the pack when you shop. Remember the system is designed for comparing similar products, like cereal versus cereal, not cereal versus yoghurt.

The star rating system is voluntary at the moment so not all companies do it, but we think it’s a very useful tool for people to compare foods at a glance when they’re standing in the supermarket aisle, which is why we’ve had ratings on all Kellogg’s cereals since the end of 2015. We’re working on doing the same for snacks too, and we’re aiming to have this all done before the end of 2018.

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