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Woolworths shopper's confusion over detail on identical products

A confused shopper has demanded an explanation from Woolworths after making a strange discovery at their local store.

The customer tagged the official Woolworths Twitter account in a tweet earlier this week, posting two photographs taken in store.

The first photograph shows two identical two-litre Woolworths brand breakfast juices next to one another on the shelf.

One has a Health Star Rating of five stars and the other has a health rating of two and a half stars.

Woolworths breakfast juice, 2 bottles, 1 with a 5 star rating and 1 with a 2.5 star rating. Source: Twitter/@quar1an
The customer made the discovery earlier this week. Source: Twitter/@quar1an

In the second photograph, a similar rating variance has occurred with identical bottles of two-litre Woolworths brand apple and blackcurrant juices. The juice bottles show health star ratings of five and three respectively.

Both juice bottles are shown to have the exact same amount of kilojoules as well as “99 per cent fruit juice” and “no added sugars” messages on the labels.

“Can you please explain why the ratings are different for the exact same product?” the customer asked Woolworths in their tweet.

Woolworths reveals reason for juice rating anomaly

A Woolworths spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia customers should not be concerned about the differing health ratings on fruit juice products.

“We display the Health Star Rating on a wide range of Woolworths branded products to help customers make informed choices,” the spokesperson said.

“Following a review earlier this year, the federal government has changed the way health star ratings are calculated for certain products, including fruit juice.

Apple blackcurrant juice, 2 of them next to one another, 1 with a 5 star rating and 1 with a 3 star rating. Source: Twitter/@quar1an
Customers may continue to notice differing health ratings on labels as packaging is updated on new batches to reflect the Health Star Rating change. Source: Twitter/@quar1an

“The change includes a greater focus on sugar, including natural sugars, and has resulted in lower ratings for many fruit juices.

“We’ve recently updated our own brand juice labels to reflect the new ratings, as all fruit juice brands impacted by the change will need to do.”

Yahoo News Australia understands no ingredient changes have been made with Woolworths brand fruit juices.

Health star rating update reclassifies juice

Under the federal government’s new Health Star Rating methodology, which was recently reviewed, non-dairy beverages are graded according to a new system.

The new grading system, which applies to all fruit juice products, takes energy and sugar into account, including sugars naturally occurring in fruit, when calculating a Health Star Rating.

“Added sugars, sweeteners, colours, sodium, caffeine, quinine, or any other ingredient that contains energy” are also taken into account when calculating a Health Star Rating.

According to the report, unsweetened flavoured waters will continue to score a four-star rating, while packaged water will continue to be awarded five stars.

Yahoo News Australia understands the government has provided manufacturers with a two-year transition period up until November of 2022 to update their Health Star Rating labels in line with the new system.

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