Implement a strategic commitment to delivering better nutrition across their businesses
Nine companies do not have a strategic commitment to nutrition that is endorsed by their Boards. These companies should take steps to develop a nutrition strategy. If they do not, they run the risk of losing ground to their competitors and being seen as not committed to helping their customers eat healthily and avoid diet-related diseases. This could damage the reputation and value of their brands – and even those of the overall company in the long run.
Take measures to boost global sales of healthy products and report on these publicly
The sales of healthy products (based on the companies’ own definition of healthy) account for 50% of the total sales of only five companies. Eight companies either do not provide this data, or their data shows that their sales of healthy products accounts for less than 10% of total sales. These companies should develop clear plans and targets to increase the nutritional quality of their products and to boost their sales through better marketing, pricing and distribution strategies.
Adopt or enhance a formal global nutrition policy
Ten companies have a comprehensive nutrition policy, but only six of these have a comprehensive measurable set of objectives in place covering all relevant topics as defined by the ATNI methodology. The remaining four defined limited objectives. Twelve companies did not articulate a comprehensive nutrition policy and have a more limited or ad hoc approach, if any at all. These companies should develop more formal and comprehensive policies. Companies that have not developed objectives and measurable targets should do so, addressing areas such as product reformulation, accessibility, responsible marketing, healthy lifestyles, labeling, the use of health and nutrition claims, and engagement with governments and stakeholders.
Link executive compensation to performance on nutrition objectives
An increasing number of companies have started to link executive compensation with broad CSR initiatives, most of which include nutrition objectives. In 2018, five companies took this step, while in 2016, only three companies had such a mechanism in place. Nevertheless, only two companies link CEO remuneration directly to nutrition performance, which is considered industry best practice. All 20 companies need to link CEO remuneration directly to nutrition performance and targets in order to demonstrate their commitment to nutrition and that the CEO has responsibility for delivering on this commitment.
Publish separate reports for major markets
Out of the four companies that have additional reports besides its global report, only Coca-Cola and Nestlé provide separate reporting for their major markets; most of the companies (18) have only one report covering major operations. The companies are encouraged to report more information on their major markets.
Conduct external verification of nutrition data and commentary
External verification is industry best practice. It enhances accountability and should be adopted more widely. External verification should be carried out by an independent third party (such as Bureau Veritas, KPMG or PwC, among others) to assure accuracy of reported nutrition-related data (e.g. calculation of sales generated from healthy products). Seventeen companies do not conduct independent external review of their nutrition reports or of the nutrition information contained in other reports or on their websites. Companies are encouraged to extend the scope of externally verified information on which they report.
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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