Health and wellness aspirations are top-of-mind for many Australians. With an abundance of resources available, consumers are using product information and labels on food packaging, nutrition and fitness to meet personal health goals.

Fusing Nielsen data with nutritional information from The George Institute reveals the positive impact the Health Star Rating is having on brands in particular categories. In the spreads category, products with a 5 Health Star Rating grew by 43% over the past four years. While this is a significant outcome, it also brings to light the additional $6.8million in sales that could have been earned by the spreads that qualified for a 5 star rating but did not have a Health Star Rating on the pack.

In the cereals category, products with a 4.5 or 5 Health Star Rating now account for almost a third (32%) of all dollar sales, yet they only account for 22% of all active SKUs. And, more manufacturers appear to embracing the benefits of the Health Star Rating with the number of active SKUs that have no Health Star Rating on the pack dropping to just 35% – less than half of what it was two years ago (75%).

Reinforcing product attributes on labelling remains an opportunity for brands across a variety of categories.

Findings from Nielsen’s Global Health and Ingredient Sentiment Survey shows six-in-10 Pacific consumers say they actively avoid animal foods that contain antibiotics or hormones. More than half avoid food that contain MSG; artificial preservatives, flavours, colours and sweeteners; and also food in packaging that contains BPA. Foods that are high in sugar and sodium and those that are genetically Modified (GM) also feature in the top 10 ingredients that consumers in both Australia and New Zealand avoid.

Ensuring consumers can look to packaging for transparent information on the products they are buying has never been more important. Healthy brands that are ‘shouting’ about their benefits with a Health Star Rating on the pack are reaping the rewards of increased consumer sales.

By Jessica Paul, Senior Analytics Manager, Nielsen


Nielsen’s Scantrack point-of-sale grocery data helps our clients understand their performance and what opportunities exist. Fused with FoodSwitch data from The George Institute, Nielsen clients have the ability to analyse health and wellness product attributes and understand how they are affecting consumer behaviour. With these two powerful data sets, we can help our clients stay ahead of the ever evolving health movement. For more information on this new service please contact your Nielsen representative.