Nestle to Increase Nutrient Profile of Products After Admitting 60 pc of its F&B Offerings are Unhealthy
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Nestle to Increase Nutrient Profile of Products After Admitting 60 pc of its F&B Offerings are Unhealthy

Swiss FMCG major Nestle SA said it is looking across its entire portfolio to increase the nutrient profile of its products, following international media reports that 60 percent of the company’s mainstream food and drinks portfolio failed to meet a 'recognized definition of health' and nutrition.

Nestle is working on a company-wide project to update its nutrition and health strategy. It is looking at its entire portfolio to ensure that its products are helping meet their nutritional needs and supporting a balanced diet, a Nestlé SA spokesperson said. 

The leading media organization said quoting a Nestle document, “The world’s largest food company, Nestlé, has acknowledged that more than 60 percent of its mainstream food and drinks products do not meet a 'recognized definition of health' and that some of our categories and products will never be ‘healthy’ no matter how much we renovate.”

A presentation circulated among top executives this year said that only 37 percent of Nestle’s food and beverages by revenues, excluding products such as pet food and specialised medical nutrition, achieve a rating above 3.5 under Australia’s health star rating system.

“Within its overall food and drink portfolio, about 70 percent of Nestlé’s food products failed to meet that threshold, the presentation said, along with 96 percent of beverages, excluding pure coffee, and 99 percent of Nestlé’s confectionery and ice cream portfolio,” the media report noted.

While issuing a global statement, Nestle, maker of KitKat, Maggi noodles, and Nescafé, said it is working on a company-wide project to update its nutrition and health strategy.

“We are looking at our entire portfolio across the different phases of people’s lives to ensure our products are helping meet their nutritional needs and supporting a balanced diet,” he said.

For example, Nestle has reduced the sugar and sodium content in its products significantly in the past two decades, about 14-15 percent in the past 7 years alone.

“In recent years, we have launched thousands of products for kids and families that meet external nutrition yardsticks,” he said.

He further noted that “We have also distributed billions of micronutrient doses via our affordable and nutritious products. As we consider our future nutrition strategy, we are first focusing on assessing the part of our food and beverage portfolio that can be measured against external nutrition profiling systems”.

Systems like the Health Star Rating and Nutri-Score are useful in this regard and enable consumers to make informed choices.

“However, they don’t capture everything. About half of our sales are not covered by these systems. That includes categories such as infant nutrition, specialized health products, and pet food, which follow regulated nutrition standards,” he said.

According to Nestle, it believes that a healthy diet means finding a balance between well-being and enjoyment.

“This includes having some space for indulgent foods, consumed in moderation. Our direction of travel has not changed and is clear: we will continue to make our portfolio tastier and healthier, ” it said.

In India, Nestle is one of the leading players in the packaged food category. It presently operates eight production units in India and had reported net sales of Rs 13,290.16 crore for 2020. Nestle had last year in October said it will invest Rs 2,600 crore further into India over the next three to four years on expansion of the existing units and towards the construction of its new upcoming unit at Sanand, Gujarat.

 
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