Global Index 2021

Suntory

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Product categories assessed
Baked Goods|Bottled Water (Pure)|Carbonates|Concentrates|Dairy|Juice|RTD Coffee|RTD Tea|Sports Drinks|Energy Drinks|Bottled Water (Other)
Percentage of company global sales covered by Product Profile assessment
80-85%
Headquarters
Japan
Number of employees
40210
Type of ownership
Public
Rank 21 / Score 1.1
Rank 19 (2018)
Product Profile
Rank 12 / Score 4.5
Rank 15 (2018)
Important:

The findings of this Index regarding companies’ performance rely to a large extent on information shared by companies, in addition to information that is available in the public domain. Several factors beyond the companies’ control may impact the availability of information such as differences in disclosure requirements among countries or capacity constraints within companies, amongst others the Covid-19 pandemic. Therefore, in the case of limited or no engagement by such companies, this Index may not represent the full extent of their efforts.

Corporate Profile

Rank 21

Score 1.1

Commitment

Performance

Disclosure

The bar graph to the left shows company performance across the seven Index categories, which are key topic areas of assessment, and scores are shown for each category. The circles above provide an alternate view on the company’s overall results, showing the score per indicator type. The Commitment, Performance, Disclosure score only applies to category scores and not to the BMS/CF Assessment.

Main areas
of strength

● GOVERNANCE: As in the 2018 Global Index, Suntory’s disclosure is limited and therefore only a few areas of strengths were identified. However, the company’s scoring has improved across all but one of the categories, albeit marginally. Although the company does not explicitly commit to tackling specific malnutrition issues – which it is encouraged to do – it does commit to addressing the agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) referenced throughout the company’s annual report. Following an analysis of all SDGs, Suntory identified SDG3 (Good Health and Well-being) and SDG6 (Clean Water and Sanitation) as main priority areas for the company. ATNI encourages Suntory to set SMART targets to deliver on SDG3 and to report on progress formally and regularly.

● PRODUCTS: In the company’s annual and sustainability reports, Suntory describes its efforts to “expand the company’s portfolio of natural and healthy products”, with the overall aim of “helping people to enjoy healthier lifestyles”. Through its ‘100-Year-Life Project’, launched in 2018, Suntory intends to drive improvements across its product portfolio and promote healthier and more active lifestyles. Suntory is encouraged to report on this project more comprehensively, disclosing targets and monitoring progress.

● LIFESTYLES: Suntory provides a fitness and health program, the ‘Suntory Health Challenge 2019’, which, through a mileage-based points system, encourages and rewards employees’ healthy habits, such as daily walks and health check-ups. It is recommended that the company makes the program available to all employees and their families, across all markets.

Priority areas
for improvement

● SCORES AND RANKS: As in 2018 Global Index, Suntory’s public disclosure is limited, and the company ranks 21st on the 2021 Global Index. In general, Suntory’s limited disclosure means that no clear strengths were identified in the Corporate Profile research. Better disclosure by the company about its approach to tackling the global burden of malnutrition, in terms of nutrition governance, product formulation, affordability and accessibility, responsible marketing practices, lifestyles, labeling and engagement, would allow for a more complete assessment and identification of specific areas for improvement. Additionally, Suntory is encouraged to engage with ATNI to allow a complete assessment of the company’s products’ policies and practices.

● GOVERNANCE: Suntory is advised to adopt and disclose a nutrition policy that specifies how the company contributes to improved nutrition and health in the countries in which it operates, through its commercial strategy and activities.

● PRODUCTS: ATNI recommends that Suntory defines what products it classifies as ‘healthy’ based on objective nutrition criteria (using an internationally-recognized Nutrient Profiling Model (NPM)), and implements a strategy towards a healthier product portfolio by setting product formulation and/or reformulation targets.

● ACCESSIBILITY: Suntory could consider adopting and publishing a policy to improve the affordability and physical accessibility of products that meet healthy criteria, showing how it reaches low-income populations or populations that lack regular access to healthy, affordable food.

● MARKETING: The company is encouraged to adopt and publish a marketing policy that addresses general aspects of responsible marketing and specific commitments, to ensure that marketing of unhealthy products to children is avoided. This should align with the World Health Organization (WHO) regional nutrient profile models, that establish which products should not be marketed to children.

● LIFESTYLES: Although Suntory provides limited flexible arrangements aimed at supporting pregnancy and child-rearing, it makes no mention of measures to support female employees in breastfeeding at work. The company is recommended to commit to supporting female employees in breastfeeding at work as part of its policy to support employee health and wellbeing.

● LABELING: The company is encouraged to adopt and publish a labeling policy to ensure that nutrition information is provided on all packaged food and beverage products, according to Codex Alimentarius guidelines and in compliance with national regulations in the countries in which it operates.

Category Analysis

Governance

Governance

Products

Accessibility

Marketing

Lifestyles

Labeling

Engagement

Nutrition

A1
Nutrition strategy
A2
Nutrition management
A3
Reporting quality
B1
Product Profile
B2
Product formulation
B3
Defining healthy products
C1
Product pricing
C2
Product distribution
D1
Marketing policy
D2
Marketing to children
D3
Auditing and compliance
E1
Employee health
E2
Breastfeeding support
E3
Consumer health
F1
Product labeling
F2
Claims
G1
Influencing policymakers
G2
Stakeholder engagement

Commitment

Performance

Disclosure

The big circle on the left represents the company result for this Index category, showing the rank out of 25 and the score below it. The smaller circles above indicate company's scores on the three types of indicators.
The big circle on the left represents the company result for this Index category, showing the rank out of 25 and the score below it. The smaller circles above indicate company's scores on the three types of indicators.
The big circle on the left represents the company result for this Index category, showing the rank out of 25 and the score below it. The smaller circles above indicate company's scores on the three types of indicators.
The big circle on the left represents the company result for this Index category, showing the rank out of 25 and the score below it. The smaller circles above indicate company's scores on the three types of indicators.
The big circle on the left represents the company result for this Index category, showing the rank out of 25 and the score below it. The smaller circles above indicate company's scores on the three types of indicators.
The big circle on the left represents the company result for this Index category, showing the rank out of 25 and the score below it. The smaller circles above indicate company's scores on the three types of indicators.
The big circle on the left represents the company result for this Index category, showing the rank out of 25 and the score below it. The smaller circles above indicate company's scores on the three types of indicators.

Detailed Product Profile Results

12
Rank 12 / Score 4.5

The Product Profile is an independent assessment of the nutritional quality of companies’ product portfolios. For this purpose, ATNI uses the Health Star Rating (HSR) model, which rates foods from 0.5 to 5.0 based on their nutritional quality. ATNI uses the threshold of 3.5 stars or more to classify products as generally healthy. This assessment is undertaken in partnership with The George Institute for Global Health (TGI), with additional data input from Innova Market Insights.

The methodology for the Global Index 2021 Product Profile has been revised and now includes three scored elements. The overall Product Profile score reflects: B1.1, the mean healthiness of a company’s product portfolio; B1.2, the relative healthiness within product categories compared to peers, and; B1.3, changes in the nutritional quality of product portfolios compared to the Global Index 2018 Product Profile. The steps taken to calculate the final Product Profile scores are visualized in Box 1. The next section further explains each of these three elements.

Suntory has been assessed for the second time in the Global Index Product Profile. In the previous assessment, six of the company’s markets were selected and a total of 503 products analyzed accounting for approximately 10-15% of global retail sales in 2017. In this Index, a total of 851 products have been analyzed across 9 of the company’s major markets. Products from the top five best-selling product categories within each market are included. In 2019, these products accounted for 80-85% of the company’s global retail sales.

France, Germany and Japan are new countries included in this iteration. In 2018, a total of 10 product categories were covered by the assessment, compared to 11 categories in 2021. For all companies, Bottled Water has been split into two categories for this iteration (Bottled Water – pure and Bottled Water – other). In addition, the 2018 Euromonitor subset ‘Sports and Energy Drinks’ was split into two categories in 2021 (‘Sports Drinks’ and ‘Energy Drinks’).

In this Product Profile assessment, Suntory scores 5.2 out of 10 (B1.1) in the mean healthiness element, 8.3 out of 10 (B1.2) for the relative healthiness of its products within categories compared to peers, and 0 out of 10 (B1.3) for changes in nutritional quality (mean HSR) over time. This results in Suntory obtaining an overall score of 4.5 out of 10, and ranking 12 out of 25 in the Product Profile.

B1.1 Portfolio-level Results

Average
HSR (out
of 5 stars)
(sales-
weighted)
9
Countries
included
Range of
global sales
included
Healthy products
(HSR)
Products suitable to market
to children (WHO regional
models) - UNSCORED
2.6 Australia, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, UK 80-85% No.
products
assessed
%
products
healthy
(≥3.5
stars)
%
retail
sales
healthy
2019
(≥3.5
stars) –
assessed
countries
only
% estimated
global
retail
sales
healthy
2019
(≥3.5
stars)
No.
products
assessed
%
products
suitable
% sales
from
suitable
851 28% 27% 28% 874 3% 11%

● A total of 851 products manufactured by Suntory, sold in 9 countries, covering 11 product categories, were included in this Product Profile. The company’s sales-weighted mean HSR is 2.6 out of 5. ATNI turns this value into a score between 0 and 10, resulting in a mean healthiness score of 5.2 out of 10 for Suntory. The company ranks 13 out of 25 companies in this first scored element (B1.1).

● Overall, 28% of distinct products assessed were found to meet the HSR healthy threshold (HSR >=3.5). Together, these products accounted for an estimated 27% of Suntory’s retail sales of packaged food and beverages 2019 in the selected markets. Assuming the products and markets included in the assessment are representative of the company’s overall global sales, ATNI estimates the company derived approximately 28% of its global retail sales from healthy products in 2019.

WHO nutrient profiling models (unscored): Only 3% of products assessed were found to be of sufficient nutritional quality to market to children, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) regional nutrient profiling models. These products were estimated to generate 11% of the company’s sales in 2019. More information on this part of the assessment can be found in the Marketing section (Category D) of the Index.

B1.2. Product Category Results

No.
products
analyzed
%
products
healthy
(HSR>=3.5)
Company
mean HSR
Mean HSR for
all companies
selling this
product
category
Company performance
(rank in mean HSR
compared to peers
selling products in
the same category)
Baked Goods 5 0% 0.5 2 9th out of 9
Bottled Water - other 35 0% 2 2 3rd out of 6
Carbonates 147 5% 1.6 1.6 2nd out of 5
Concentrates 21 0% 1.5 1.2 1st out of 7
Energy Drinks 116 0% 1.1 1.1 1st out of 3
Sport Drinks 36 0% 1.9 1.7 1st out of 3
Dairy 12 17% 3 2.9 10th out of 18
RTD Tea 74 7% 2.1 1.7 1st out of 7
Juice 295 60% 3.5 3.2 4th out of 8
RTD Coffee 103 42% 2.8 2.7 3rd out of 6
Bottled Water - pure 7 100% 5 5 1

● The ‘Bottled Water- Pure’ category receives a standard rating of five stars, according to the HSR algorithm for all companies. For Suntory ‘Juice,’ was the next best performing category, where a total of 295 products analyzed obtained mean HSR of 3.5 out of 5. ‘Baked Goods’ (0.5) had the lowest mean HSR of all product categories included for Suntory.

● For 10 out of the 11 categories assessed, Suntory’s products perform equal to or better than the mean HSR of companies selling products in the same categories. The company performs best compared to peers in the following product categories; ‘Concentrates,’ ‘Energy Drinks,’ ‘RTD Tea,’ and ‘Sport Drinks.’

● Suntory scores 8.3 out of 10 (B1.2), ranking third out of 25 companies in this second scored element. This is based on its ranking compared to peers within the 11 categories, using the scoring system set out in ATNI’s methodology.

B1.3. Change in mean HSR

No. of products
analyzed in 2018
No. of products
analyzed in 2021
Sales weighted
mean HSR 2018
Sales weighted
mean HSR 2021
Australia 144 63 1.7 1.2
China 7 10 2.1 1.6
Hong Kong 22 28 1.4 1.2
New Zealand 252 236 2.5 2.9
South Africa 11 10 1.2 1.5
UK 67 156 1.7 1.6
TOTAL 503 503 1.8 1.7

● Among the 18 companies for which this third scored element was applicable, Suntory was one of nine companies which showed no increase in mean HSR between the 2018 and 2021 Product Profiles (mean HSR=1.8 to 1.7). The change in HSR score only takes into account the six countries included in both 2018 and 2021 assessments.

● Suntory was found to have decreased its average HSR by 0.1 stars using sales-weighted portfolio-level results, resulting in a score of 0 out of 10 on this element using the scoring system set out in ATNI’s methodology.

Full Product Profile report
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