Understanding Nutrition Labels

One of the first steps towards healthy eating is knowing what you’re actually eating. It should be easy to make healthier choices for you and your family, however it can be daunting to understand the health claims, information panels and health stars on packaged foods. Reading food labels can help you make healthier choices.

At ALDI, we are committed to marketing responsibly to our customers. We aim to inspire you to make healthy food choices by providing accurate and transparent information through clear product labels. We’re proud to say that ALDI has been at the forefront of helping our customers understand and make informed decisions about what they eat.

In fact, ALDI was the first retailer in Australia to offer front-of-pack Percentage Daily Intake (%DI) labelling across our entire range, so our customers could be confident in the choices they make. Plus, we adopted Health Star Ratings on all eligible ALDI exclusive products in 2020.

ALDI was also the first retailer to introduce unit pricing in 2009 to help our customers get the most value from their shop. But that doesn’t mean we can rest easy, and we’re continually trying to find new and better ways to help our customers make buying decisions that are well-informed.

How to Read Nutrition Labels

Information is key to making healthy choices. Educating yourself on how to read nutrition labelling will help you make those informed choices for you and your family.

We have our own Front of Pack Labelling policies and various brand guidelines to ensure you can always easily access nutrition labels. You’ll usually find the nutrition information panel on the back or on the side of packaged foods. But how do you read them? We’re glad you asked (don’t worry, it’s easier than you think!). Let’s break it down.

Understanding Food Labels

There are three key components to look for on every food label at ALDI – the ingredients list, the nutritional information panel and the health star rating. You can also find allergen labels on our products, where necessary (more on that later). Their font size may be small, but these resources are a big help when it comes to making healthy choices.

1. List of Ingredients

All packaged food products have an ingredient list on their label, which is useful for knowing exactly what you are buying. You may have read them many times before, but did you know that the ingredients are listed in order of prominence? For example, if sugar is closer to the top of the list, then you know the product contains a larger amount of said ingredient.

2. Nutrition Information Panel

All the numbers and different measurements on a nutrition information panel can be overwhelming. We’re here to make it easy. Knowing how to read a nutrition label is useful for comparing products. First, let’s take a look at some of the common phrases you will see on the nutrition information panel:

For more information on Nutritional Information Panels, from Food Standards Australia, see here.

Serving Size

This indicates the average serving size from the manufacturer. It is not necessarily the same thing as the recommended serving size.


Energy refers to the total amount of kilojoules that are released when the food product is used by the body.


This indicates how much fat is in the product per single serving. If you are comparing two products, choosing the one with less saturated fat can be a quick way to make a healthy choice.


“Total carbohydrates” includes both sugars and starches. Use the ‘per serve’ column to work out how many carbs are in the product.


This figure tells you how much salt is in the product. As sodium can affect blood pressure, choosing products that have less salt is generally a healthier option.

High Fibre

The product must contain at least 3g of fibre per average serving to be considered high in fibre.

Low Fat

This means the product contains less than 3g of fat per 100g.

Reduced Fat/Salt

This indicates that the product contains at least 25% less fat or salt than the regular version of the product.

Fat Free

This phrase can only be used for products that have less than 0.15% fat.

No Added Sugar

This means that sugar was not added to the product during production. Similar to the reduced fat claim, this term does not consider whether or not the product is naturally high in sugar (for example, a fruit juice product).

3. Health Star Rating System

Health Star Rating example

Image source: Health Star Rating sytem 

Another type of food label you might have seen before is the Health Star Rating, a front-of-pack labelling system that rates the overall nutritional profile of packaged foods.

It’s a quick and easy way for you to compare the nutritional profile of similar packaged foods and help you make more informed and healthier choices. The Health Star Ratings are calculated using strict guidelines. 

The system works by weighing up all the good stuff like fibre, protein, fruit, veg, nuts and legumes against the not so good stuff like sugar, salt and saturated fat. From there, the entire nutritional profile of the product is given an overall rating, ranging from half to five stars.

The more stars you see, the healthier the choice. To learn more, visit www.healthstarrating.gov.au

For a visual explanation of the Health Star Rating, take a look at this informative (and adorable!) animation.

Allergen Labels

According to Food Standards Australia New Zealand, food allergy occurs when a person's immune system reacts to certain food and ingredients and can cause allergic reactions including anaphylaxis. Other immune reactions can also occur in response to food, such as in Coeliac disease. They also say that this is why the Food Standards Code requires certain food and substances to be declared when they are present in a food as ingredients including food additives or processing

Any important allergen information will always be clearly marked on product labels. To give you extra peace-of-mind, ALDI also carries out additional independent testing on products carrying allergen-free claims, so that they can be verified as safe for consumption.

Making a Good Difference

Our efforts to Make a Good Difference aren’t going unnoticed – in a 2020 study conducted by Inside Our Food Companies, an assessment of the healthiness of Australian Supermarkets, ALDI Australia performed the best out of the top four retailers for Responsible Marketing.

For additional information on what kinds of foods and portions will Make a Good Difference to your health, check out the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating

Frequently Asked Questions

Nutrition labelling shows the key nutrients that have an effect on your health. The labels can help you find products that contain more of the nutrients you want and less of those you may want to limit (such as sodium and saturated fats). Therefore, nutrition labels can be used to support your dietary needs and inform your product choices.

Manufacturers in Australia often use the Nutrition Panel Calculator provided by Food Standards to calculate the average nutrient content of their products, to create a nutrition information panel.

If you are on a low-carb diet, nutrition labels can help you compare products. Foods that have fewer than 5% of total calories from carbohydrates can be considered low-carb.