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Global Index 2018

C. Accessibility findings

Key findings

  • The average Category C nutrition score increased to 2.4 from 0.9 in 2016, and Grupo Bimbo currently leads the score with 7.0 points.
  • PepsiCo showed the largest improvement by increasing its score by more than 5.5 points. This increase is mainly related to the company's new global and comprehensive commitment to address the affordability and accessibility of its healthy products. The company is currently developing a set of guidelines on these topics and the company provided evidence of pricing and accessibility analysis of healthy products for low-income populations in developing countries.
  • Since 2016, on average, Category C performance has considerably improved. While scores are still very low (2.4 out of 10), they have more than doubled between 2016 and 2018. Progress is visible in all areas – more companies provided evidence of commitments, performance and disclosure to improve the pricing and availability of healthy products. While this is encouraging, it is disappointing that Category C is still the lowest scoring category of all, and, overall, companies are placing little focus on the pricing and distribution of their healthy products.

Key recommendations

Companies should develop a strategic focus on affordability and accessibility

Overall, a limited number of companies have set out a clear or systematic approach to making healthy products more affordable and available to consumers. Despite the positive progress since 2016, most companies’ efforts remain weak and do not appear to be guided by a unifying strategy (i.e. they take an individual project-based approach rather than a more strategic approach).

Companies should go beyond making ‘a product’ affordable and accessible

Several companies have a commitment in place to make products more affordable and accessible. While some companies explicitly mention that the commitment covers healthy, nutritionally-improved or fortified products, other commitments remain unclear by not specifying whether they explicitly and exclusively cover healthy products. To improve scores, companies are encouraged to be more specific in their commitments and to explicitly focus on healthy products, as defined by the company’s NPS.

Companies should have a strategic focus on accessibility and affordability of healthy products in low-income and rural areas

Overall, companies provided limited evidence of a tailored approach on accessibility and affordability of healthy products in low-income rural and urban areas in developed and developing countries. In their commitments, policies and practices, companies should focus on these consumers and develop solutions to make healthy products accessible and affordable for them.

A multi-stakeholder approach is needed to address accessibility and affordability dilemmas

Research for the 2018 Index indicates two areas with little evidence of activity:

  • How to improve accessibility and affordability in rural and urban areas in developed and developing markets.
  • The role that companies can play through arrangements with distributors and retailers in order to make healthy products more accessible.

In both situations, the issues and solutions go beyond the direct scope of influence of F&B manufacturers. To find (business) solutions to these complex issues, an approach involving multiple stakeholders such as distributors, retailers, governments and municipalities is needed.

Improving nutrition for all

The Access to Nutrition Index rates food and beverage manufacturers´ nutrition-related policies, practices and disclosures worldwide on a recurring basis.


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