Starlight logo


Study aims and design

The aim of Starlight was to find out what effect different types of front-of-pack nutrition labels have on food choices.Starlight phone on barcode

The study used a novel smartphone application (app) that can read barcodes on pre-packaged food and provided participants with a front-of-pack label for the product. Front-of-pack nutrition labels provided information about the nutritional content of products.

Each person was given the app to download and encouraged to use the app to scan the barcodes of products that they were considering buying for a four week period.  The app displayed just one label type (decided at random) for each person. 

The 'healthiness' of the foods purchased will be compared between the groups.


Study participants

Woman with phone in supermarket

The aim was to recruit 1500 participants from all over New Zealand.  The Starlight team worked with Toi Tangata and Kokiri Marae to help with Maori participation, and Pacific members of the Programme Advisory Group (from the University of Auckland and Le Va) and the Pasifika Medical Association to promote and encourage Pacific participation.


Study progress

The study results were published in February 2017. Click here to read the results.

Lead researcher

Starlight was led by Professor Cliona Ni Mhurchu at the National Institute for Health Innovation.