Category D - Undernutrition: Marketing
20% of the total undernutrition score
To perform well on undernutrition in Category D, companies should:
- Make an explicit commitment to developing and delivering marketing strategies appropriate to reaching undernourished populations in developing countries, and disclose this commitment publicly.
- Provide evidence of taking steps to understand and reach undernourished consumers in developing countries with appropriate products.
Average scores for category D undernutrition in 2018 and 2016
- More companies report a relevant commitment and provide more evidence than they did in 2016. Category D indicators related to undernutrition were not scored in 2016, therefore a comparison in score is not possible. Although the average score is low with 1.8 points, FrieslandCampina leads the ranking in Category D Undernutrition with an almost full score, followed by Kellogg, Nestlé and Mars.
More companies express their awareness of the need to develop specific marketing strategies to address undernourished consumers in developing countries. Five companies make a commitment to do so, including Ajinomoto, FrieslandCampina, Kellogg and Nestlé, compared to none in 2016. FrieslandCampina and Kellogg are the only two companies to disclose these commitments publicly. Despite this increase, the large majority of companies (12) do not make a relevant commitment.
Danone, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Unilever provide examples of taking steps to understand and reach undernourished consumers in developing countries with appropriate products, without making a clear commitment to do so.
In 2016, only Danone, Nestlé and Unilever provided evidence of having gathered relevant data and insight to inform their marketing strategies. In 2018, more companies including FrieslandCampina, PepsiCo and Coca-Cola provided such data as well.
Recommendations for improvement
- Companies need to demonstrate better that they are aware of the need to develop specific marketing strategies to reach undernourished consumers
More companies provided evidence of having gathered relevant data and insight to inform their marketing strategies, rather than making a commitment to do so. This shows an implicit awareness of the importance of this topic. All companies that commit to address undernutrition should commit to develop specific strategies to reach the relevant target populations.
- Companies should continue and go beyond gathering consumer and market insights
The seven companies that have initiated activities to understand and reach undernourished consumers all provided evidence of gathering consumer and market insight, which is a good practice the remaining companies should emulate. However, a wider, more comprehensive approach to address difficult-to-reach populations should get more attention from all companies, for example by using multiple mass and social media communication channels, and by involving creative agencies and behavioral specialists.
- Assessed for the first time – further develop methodology to assess performance as well
Companies’ marketing commitments related to addressing undernutrition, and disclosure of those commitments, were not scored before. Currently, this category consists of just a few indicators, without assessing actual marketing performance indicators. In the future, ATNI plans to cover this aspect as well.
Due to the standard way of scoring indicators in ATNI methodology, the commitment to developing and delivering marketing strategies appropriate to reaching undernourished populations, combined with the disclosure thereof, currently determines 75% of the score of Category D. ATNI will address this in its next index to ensure an optimally balanced scoring system.