2016 Health Star Rating Monitoring and Evaluation Year One Follow Up Research Report

This report presents findings from the 2016 follow up survey and compares them to the baseline survey completed in 2015 which assessed consumers’ awareness, recognition, understanding, and correct use of the Health Star Rating prior to the launch of the consumer campaign. 

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Commissioning agencies
Date of last publication
Jan 2017
Organisation conducting the research
Colmar Brunton


The Health Promotion Agency commissioned Colmar Brunton to monitor consumers’ awareness, understanding and correct use of the Health Star Rating (HSR), following the implementation of its marketing and education campaign in March 2016. Findings are compared to the 2015 baseline.


Online survey ofshoppers using the Colmar Brunton panel.

2016: 1,045 shoppers surveyed

2015:1,067 shoppers surveyed

Key Results

Overall, a number of promising shifts have occurred since 2015.

Awareness of the HSR has increased, particularly for those who report seeing the HSR campaign. The goal during early phases of the campaign is to increase awareness and recognition of the HSR. Therefore, the findings suggest the campaign is tracking well against this goal.

Self-reported knowledge of HSR has also increased since 2015, though ultimately, knowledge is still at relatively low levels. Promisingly, there is evidence the campaign is supporting an increased appreciation that the HSR can only be used to compare products from within the same packaged food categories.

Levels of use of the HSR have increased across all groups since 2015. There is evidence that the campaign has supported this and encouraged shoppers to use the HSR to help choose certain packaged food, and to more regularly check its healthiness.

Despite some promising shifts in awareness, knowledge and use of the HSR, current levels of trust in the HSR remain relatively low. Perceived trust in the HSR is the main predictor of likelihood to use the HSR in the future, and as such it is important to focus on boosting trust in the HSR system, particularly via the consumer campaign.

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