Category C: Accessibility
Category C consists of two criteria:
Producing healthier options is necessary but insufficient on its own to improve consumers’ access to nutritious foods and beverages, and to drive up their consumption. Therefore, companies must offer them at competitive prices and distribute them widely to reach all consumers in need especially those who are vulnerable to malnutrition. This category assesses companies’ efforts to make their healthy products more affordable and accessible to Indian consumers through their approaches to pricing and distribution.
- Product pricing
- Product distribution
- Did not provide information to ATNI
- Indian food and beverage manufacturers do not appear to have embedded within their commercial strategies clear and substantive approaches to improving the affordability and physical accessibility of their healthy products. The research for this Index did not find evidence of any novel changes in approach to this key issue since 2016. Only four companies across this Category have a strategy or target to address affordability and physical accessibility of their healthy products. Hindustan Unilever is the only company to have some quantitative targets in their pricing strategy to increase accessibility. Additionally, companies that do not have a clear way of defining their healthy products are unable to formalize any specific strategy or target towards delivering such products, and therefore score poorly in this category.
- Only three companies conduct pricing analysis (Coca-Cola India, Hindustan Unilever and Nestlé India) to determine appropriate pricing for their healthy products across all the states in which they are present. In general, none of the companies have focused commitments and policies that specifically address or mention the nutritional needs of groups in aspirational districts of India. These are districts that have been defined by the Indian Government as priority districts for development through specific health and nutrition-related indicators.
ATNI recommends that companies:
- Adopt and publish a policy to improve the affordability and physical accessibility of their healthy products, taking into account how these products can reach low-income populations or groups that lack regular access to healthy, affordable food.
- Conduct state-level pricing and distribution analyses, periodically, to assess and address the unmet needs of consumers with low incomes and who are based in remote locations of the country. Furthermore, consider taking guidance from national development initiatives such as the Transformation of Aspirational Districts program.