The government is considering changes to the ‘as prepared’ rule for health star ratings.
Currently a company can calculate its star rating based on the product ‘as prepared’ with other ingredients, which can result in the product receiving more stars. For example, Milo made up with skim milk gets 4.5 stars, but on its own gets 1.5 stars. M. A packet cake mix on its own, might get 1 star. But made up with eggs, milk and butter it might get more.
An argument for allowing a health star rating ‘as prepared’ is that you can compare similar products that sit in different categories – packet cake mixes with ready-made cakes in the bakery section, for example. On the flipside it could be argued that requiring a star rating to be based on the product ‘as sold’ would allow for a more direct and fair comparison between equivalent products.
We want to understand how you use health stars to compare foods. Would you compare star ratings of cake mixes with ready-made cakes, or just with other cake mixes? Which approach would you find most helpful – star ratings based on ‘as prepared’ or ‘as sold’?
Thanks! This will help feed into consultation on this issue next week.