UPDATED 1 NOVEMBER – HSR System enhancements consultation

By mpconsulting

The Health Star Rating (HSR) System is a voluntary front-of-pack labelling (FoPL) scheme that rates the overall nutritional profile of packaged food and assigns it a rating from 0.5 to 5 stars. With a focus on processed packaged foods, the objective of the HSR System is to provide convenient, relevant and readily understood nutrition information and/or guidance to assist consumers to make informed food purchases and healthier eating choices.

In July 2017, mpconsulting was engaged to undertake a Five Year Review of the HSR System (the Review). Since that time, we have consulted extensively with stakeholders and worked closely with the Health Star Rating Advisory Committee (HSRAC) to determine the extent to which the HSR System is meeting its objectives and also to identify options for improvements.

We now seek stakeholder views on 10 key issues relating to the products on which the HSR appears, and the way that stars are calculated. These issues are described in the Five Year Review of the Health Star Rating System – Consultation Paper: Options for System Enhancement.

In developing the Consultation Paper, we have drawn on detailed modelling undertaken by the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) and described in technical papers developed by the TAG. The TAG technical papers are available via the links below.

We welcome input on the options presented in this Consultation Paper, their impacts and any suggestions for alternative options to address the identified issues. You can provide feedback through the Department of Health’s Consultation Hub.

Consultation timeframes extended

In response to early stakeholder feedback seeking additional time to make submissions, the consultation timeframe has been extended to midnight Friday, 7 December 2018. Given the timing for the Five Year Review has been set by the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation, we are unable to extend this consultation period any further.

Further Consultation

In November 2018, mpconsulting will facilitate a further round of forums. These forums will enable stakeholders to continue to provide input on key issues for the Review, including on options for system enhancements. The forums will be hosted in Sydney, Auckland and Melbourne. As numbers will be limited for each of the sessions, we encourage stakeholders to RSVP.

UPDATED TEST CALCULATOR – including ability to switch on and off options

The Secretariat and the TAG have developed a Test Calculator which can be used to test the effects of preferred options proposed in the Consultation Paper on a product’s HSR. The Test Calculator has been provided to support stakeholders to make submissions to the Review, and does not preempt the outcome of the Review recommendations. As a consultation tool, the Test Calculator has limitations.

The updated Test Calculator includes buttons for switching on and off preferred options. Please read all instructions and accompanying notes thoroughly before use and interpret the results carefully (with particular attention to the options selected). Note that the Test Calculator only allows modelling of the status quo and the options identified as preferred in the Consultation Paper.

Please contact the Secretariat at frontofpack@health.gov.au with any queries regarding how to use the Test Calculator.

TAG technical papers


History and development of the HSR algorithm

Alignment of the HSR system with the Australian and New Zealand Dietary …



Fats, oils and oil based spreads


Fruit, vegetable, nut and legume content

Ice confection, jelly and frozen milk products

Non-dairy beverages


Salty snacks and hot potato products

Saturated fat

Snack bars


Sugars (added and total)

Unprocessed fruits and vegetables