Key differences between the Global Index Corporate Profile methodology and that used here are:
- The U.S. Index Corporate Profile does not include a separate section on undernutrition, unlike the Global Index, which focuses on this aspect of malnutrition for companies with a certain proportion of sales in low-income countries, where it is relevant. Instead, indicators assessing companies’ activities related to food insecurity in the United States are integrated across the categories.
- Rather than assessing what companies do to address the particular needs of ‘low-income populations’ as in the Global Index, in the U.S. Index ‘priority populations’ are defined and referred to.
- Access to Nutrition Indexes do not assess compliance with the law. Thus, Category F – Labeling, was adapted substantially by removing indicators that are already covered under extensive U.S. regulations in this area, including all indicators of the original Criterion F2 on nutrition and health claims. Because the U.S. Index Category F only contains some of the indicators used in the Global Index, the weight in the overall score has been reduced to 5% (as compared to 15% in the Global Index). The remaining 10% has been divided between Category B, C, D and E. This adaptation of category weights in the Corporate Profile score was based on consultation and agreement with the U.S. Expert Group.
- In Category G, specific indicators were removed in relation to companies’ engagement with policymakers, as disclosure on lobbying issues and expenditure is required by U.S. law.
- In addition, several U.S.-specific nutrition topics have been incorporated in the Corporate Profile methodology. These include:
- What companies do to address food insecurity among priority populations whose access to healthy food is constrained by low income or geographic factors.
- Whether companies follow U.S. dietary guidelines in formulating or reformulating their products and whether they commit to addressing the ‘copycat’ issue in relation to the Smart Snacks in School regulation.
- Whether companies commit to donating predominantly healthy products to food banks.
- Responsible marketing policies and performance that go beyond the commitments embodied by the main industry selfregulatory pledges.
Across the various sections and categories of the assessment, companies’ global commitments were credited where they apply to and are relevant in the United States. However, measures of performance, e.g. progress against targets, and indicators related to public disclosure, were only credited if U.S.-specific data was reported or published.