A US grocery chain will begin rating products' nutritional value using a star system.

Maine-based Hannaford Bros. will help consumers make healthier choices without having to read and understand product nutritional labels. One to three stars will be placed on shelf price stickers, according to a Hannaford panel that tested the programme.

Foods devoid of nutritional value will receive no stars, while top ratings will go to foods naturally rich in nutrients, according to guidelines developed and endorsed by experts and health advocates.

The Food Products Association is reportedly critical of the move, saying consumers are best served by reading nutritional panels.