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Cereal boxes stress over their health content in new Health Star Rating campaign

  • News
  • April 20, 2016
  • Holly Bagge
Cereal boxes stress over their health content in new Health Star Rating campaign

In one spot a concerned cereal box reading ‘Natural-ish’ asks his pal whose box reads ‘Healfy bits’ if he’s ever wondered how healthy they are. The friend replies saying he just needs to believe, but then the box next to them with a 4.5 star rating is snatched off the shelf in front of them, leaving them questioning their beliefs.

The other 15-second spots are equally as quirky and follow on from the hero TVC in a similar vein.

HPA corporate communications manager Lynne Walsh says when user testing the draft of the campaign, the concepts showed the use of animated characters resonated with consumers.

“Because it put the focus on the packaged foods and didn’t make judgements or stigmatise grocery food choices made by consumers,” she says. “Consumers also appreciated the use of humour to increase the appeal of the messages.”

She says baseline awareness of the Health Star Rating system was measured in October and November last year, and 40 percent of customers are aware of it.

The HPA has worked with FCB on previous campaigns, like ‘Not beersies’ but says it went out on a tender through GETS and Y&R was the successful tenderer. However, HPA will not solely work with Y&R in the future.

“We use a variety of agencies,” Walsh says.

A Ministry for Primary Industries spokesperson says the rating allows consumers to make better-informed, healthier choices quickly and easily when comparing similar types of packaged foods, taking the guesswork out of reading nutrition labels.

“The system uses a star rating scale of half a star to five stars to measure the overall nutritional content and healthiness of packaged foods,” the spokesperson says.

“This takes into consideration all nutritional aspects to provide an overall rating to the food rather than giving consumers information on individual ingredients, such as sugar, and leaving them to make decisions by weighing up nutrient levels against each other.”

So basically, the more stars the healthier the food.

“HSR provides a great opportunity for businesses to differentiate and promote their healthier packaged products to consumers. We have seen a number of leading brand breakfast cereals improve their products, so they can provide healthier options to their consumers. Both of New Zealand’s main supermarket retailers have also committed to taking up the HSR system on many of their products.”

The spokesperson says the system is voluntary and so far there has been a great response since its introduction in 2014, with over 1,200 products using 'health stars'.

This story originally appeared on StopPress.

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