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Milo removes Health Star Rating (HSR) from tins

Milo came under attack from advocacy groups such as Choice and The Obesity Policy Coalition because the HSR on pack was calculated based on the serving suggestion of Milo with skim milk (HSR 4.5), rather than the Milo powder on its own (HSR 1.5).

They said the company marketing Milo (Nestle) was utilising a ‘loophole’ in the HSR system whereby foods can base their HSR rating calculation on the product ‘as prepared’ rather than ‘as sold’. Nestle said they would remove the HSR from Milo powder to avoid confusion and restore faith in the HSR system. The new Milo powder cans should start appearing in May-June. The 4.5 HSR will remain on their Ready-to-drink Milo milk boxes.

As part of the ongoing review of the HSR, the ‘as prepared’ calculation method is being reappraised and has been the subject of several stakeholder workshops.

milo HSRThe main issue being that it applies to a variety of food categories including cake mixes, canned and powdered soup, cordial, dried pasta and sauce, gravy and hot chocolate mixes, which differ to Milo in being very unlikely to be consumed ‘as sold’ (gravy powder on your mashed potato anyone?).

Four options were put to the stakeholder consultations to consider:

  1. status quo (leave the ‘as prepared’ rule as is);
  2. allowing ‘as sold’ only;
  3. using both ‘as prepared’ as well as ‘as sold’ HSRs on pack; and
  4. ‘as sold’ with exemptions, such as foods just needing water added. Any change needs to consider any unintended consequences.

The outputs of these workshops can be viewed at the HSR website. The next steps are a discussion paper and further consultations after which the HSR Technical Advisory Group will make a recommendation to the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation.


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