India Spotlight Index 2020

Hindustan Unilever

Product Profile Categories
Concentrates; Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts; Sauces, Dressings and Condiments; Soup; Sweet Spreads
PDF
Rank 1 / Score 6.9
Rank 2 (2016)
Product Profile
Rank 8 / Score 5.3

Company Profile

Rank 1

Score 6.9

(%) Figure in brackets is the weighting of the category. All category, commitment, performance and disclosure scores are out of 10

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.

Main areas
of strength

  • Hindustan Unilever is joint leader in the India Index 2019 with a score of 6.9 out of 10. Since the previous India Index in 2016, the company has improved its ranking and score in several Index categories.
  • Hindustan Unilever continues to demonstrate its clear and well-structured nutrition strategy in India. The company publicly discloses its approach through policies that can be found on its website, and publishes the percentage of products that meet its Highest Nutritional Standards (HNS) in India each year.
  • The company actively supports the aims of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and was recognized by the authority in 2019 with the Eat Right Award for its efforts in driving safe and nutritious food. FSSAI also acknowledged its efforts in reducing the salt, sugar and saturated fat content of its products in relation to the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan.
  • Hindustan Unilever has developed an approach to improve the affordability of its healthy products using specifically defined price points, and ensures that products meeting its HNS are affordable for key consumer groups. Further, Hindustan Unilever demonstrates a continued commitment to improving the accessibility of its products through its Shakti project, which helps addressing undernutrition and micronutrient deficiencies in villages and rural communities through the distribution of healthy foods (in addition to other products). There are now over 100,000 Shakti entrepreneurs involved in distribution across 18 states in India.
  • The company’s ‘Health & Wellbeing’ strategy has been enhanced since 2018. It aims to help deliver healthier diets and lifestyles for its employees and throughout the wider value chain. One element is the long-established Hindustan Unilever Lamplighter Program which helps employees to improve their nutritional intake and encourages healthy lifestyles. The program is regularly independently evaluated.
  • The company has improved its performance in Category G – Engagement – by disclosing conflicts of interest in its annual report.

Priority areas
for improvement

  • Hindustan Unilever ranks eighth in the Product Profile with a score of 5.3 out of 10. The assessment is based on product categories that represent 30-40% of the company’s 2018 sales in India (tea, coffee, wheat flour and salt products were not assessed). Within the assessed categories, the company is estimated to have derived 6% of sales from products that achieve a Health Star Rating (HSR) of 3.5 or more, i.e. the ‘healthy’ threshold. In comparison with its competitors, the company scored well in two product categories.
  • In recent years, there has been no evidence of improvement in portfolio healthiness – either through company reporting or the Product Profile findings. The mean healthiness score was found to be lower than in 2016, which may be explained by the evaluation of a larger number of products. The company should accelerate improving the healthiness of its products.
  • Hindustan Unilever voluntarily fortifies some of its whole wheat flour products according to the FSSAI’s Food Safety and Standards (Fortification of Foods) Regulation, 2018, and iodizes salt products. The company should consider fortifying all wheat flour products and applying double fortification to salt products.
  • The company’s approach to improving the affordability and physical accessibility of its healthy products could further be strengthened by formalizing its policy, introducing quantitative targets, and reporting on progress.
  • Hindustan Unilever could improve its marketing approach by committing to only marketing products to children that meet the World Health Organization (WHO) South-East Asia Region (SEAR) regional standard. The Product Profile found that 17% of the assessed products currently meet the criteria. The company could also explore options to include children above 12 years in the commitment, and by excluding inappropriate marketing in secondary schools and in places near schools. Notably, Hindustan Unilever plans to implement an improved marketing policy by the end of 2020, which is not currently reflected in ATNI’s assessment.
  • To further improve its labeling approach, the company is encouraged to implement an interpretive front-of-pack labeling system as soon as possible that aligns with other companies or industry associations, and developed in partnership with the Government and other relevant stakeholders.

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

All category, criteria, commitment, performance and disclosure scores are out of 10

Commitment

Performance

Disclosure

The circle on the left represents the company result for this Index category, showing the rank out of 16 and the score below it. The colored segments represent the respective criteria contributions to the overall category score. The above circles indicate how the company performs on the three types of indicators within this category.
The circle on the left represents the company result for this Index category, showing the rank out of 16 and the score below it. The colored segments represent the respective criteria contributions to the overall category score. The above circles indicate how the company performs on the three types of indicators within this category.
The circle on the left represents the company result for this Index category, showing the rank out of 16 and the score below it. The colored segments represent the respective criteria contributions to the overall category score. The above circles indicate how the company performs on the three types of indicators within this category.
The circle on the left represents the company result for this Index category, showing the rank out of 16 and the score below it. The colored segments represent the respective criteria contributions to the overall category score. The above circles indicate how the company performs on the three types of indicators within this category.
The circle on the left represents the company result for this Index category, showing the rank out of 16 and the score below it. The colored segments represent the respective criteria contributions to the overall category score. The above circles indicate how the company performs on the three types of indicators within this category.
For this category performance indicators were not included. The circle on the left represents the company result for this Index category, showing the rank out of 16 and the score below it. The colored segments represent the respective criteria contributions to the overall category score. The above circles indicate how the company performs on the three types of indicators within this category.
The circle on the left represents the company result for this Index category, showing the rank out of 16 and the score below it. The colored segments represent the respective criteria contributions to the overall category score. The above circles indicate how the company performs on the three types of indicators within this category.
Companies are grouped into three different industry segments in this Index based on the type of products they predominantly sell (i.e. contributing 80% or more to their total food and beverage sales) – dairy, edible oil or mixed portfolio. The graph on the right shows how the company’s result within this Index category compares to that of its peers within the same industry segment.
Companies are grouped into three different industry segments in this Index based on the type of products they predominantly sell (i.e. contributing 80% or more to their total food and beverage sales) – dairy, edible oil or mixed portfolio. The graph on the right shows how the company’s result within this Index category compares to that of its peers within the same industry segment.
Companies are grouped into three different industry segments in this Index based on the type of products they predominantly sell (i.e. contributing 80% or more to their total food and beverage sales) – dairy, edible oil or mixed portfolio. The graph on the right shows how the company’s result within this Index category compares to that of its peers within the same industry segment.
Companies are grouped into three different industry segments in this Index based on the type of products they predominantly sell (i.e. contributing 80% or more to their total food and beverage sales) – dairy, edible oil or mixed portfolio. The graph on the right shows how the company’s result within this Index category compares to that of its peers within the same industry segment.
Companies are grouped into three different industry segments in this Index based on the type of products they predominantly sell (i.e. contributing 80% or more to their total food and beverage sales) – dairy, edible oil or mixed portfolio. The graph on the right shows how the company’s result within this Index category compares to that of its peers within the same industry segment.
Companies are grouped into three different industry segments in this Index based on the type of products they predominantly sell (i.e. contributing 80% or more to their total food and beverage sales) – dairy, edible oil or mixed portfolio. The graph on the right shows how the company’s result within this Index category compares to that of its peers within the same industry segment.
Companies are grouped into three different industry segments in this Index based on the type of products they predominantly sell (i.e. contributing 80% or more to their total food and beverage sales) – dairy, edible oil or mixed portfolio. The graph on the right shows how the company’s result within this Index category compares to that of its peers within the same industry segment.

Peer Comparison

Peer Comparison

Peer Comparison

Peer Comparison

Peer Comparison

Peer Comparison

Peer Comparison

Peer Comparison

Peer Comparison

Peer Comparison

Peer Comparison

Peer Comparison

Peer Comparison

Peer Comparison

Product Profile

8
Rank 8 / Score 5.3

Portfolio-level Results

Average HSR
score products
(sales-weighted)
Healthy products
(HSR)
Products suitable to
market to children
(WHO SEAR)
Range of total
India F&B sales
included
% products
healthy
% sales
healthy
No. products
assessed
% products
suitable
% sales
suitable
No. products
assessed
2.0 8% 6% 120 17% 12% 120 30-40%
  • A total of 120 products from across five categories, representing 30-40% of Hindustan Unilever’s estimated 2018 retail sales, were included in the Product Profile (tea, coffee, wheat flour and salt products were not assessed). Ten products (8%) were found to meet the HSR healthy threshold, and the company is estimated to have derived 6% of its 2018 sales of included product categories from healthy products.
  • The company achieves an unweighted mean HSR of 2.2 out of 5. After sales-weighting, the company’s mean HSR slightly drops to 2.0 out of 5, resulting in a mean healthiness score of 4.1 out of 10.
  • A total of 120 products were assessed to determine their suitability to be marketed to children according to the WHO SEAR nutrient profile model. Twenty products from the Soup category and the Sauces, Dressings and Condiments category were found to meet the criteria. These products are estimated to represent 12% of the 2018 sales from the five assessed categories.

Product Category Results

Category Concentrates Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts Sauces, Dressings and Condiments Soup Sweet Spreads
Mean HSR 1.5 2.1 1.6 3.2 1.6
% products
healthy
0 0 5 39 0
% products
suitable to
market to children
0 0 5 83 0
  • The best performing product category for Hindustan Unilever is Soup, with a mean HSR of 3.2 out of 5.
  • Few (5%) of the company’s products in the Sauces, Dressings and Condiments category were found to meet the healthy threshold and none of the products in the other categories (Concentrates, Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts, and Sweet Spreads) were found to be healthy.

Relative nutritional quality of Hindustan Unilever's products by category compared to competitors

Mean HSR Concentrates Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts Sauces, Dressings and Condiments
Hindustan Unilever 1.5 2.1 1.6
Amul GCMMF 1.8
Hatsun Agro Product 2.2
KMF Nandini 1.4
Mondelez India 0.5
Mother Dairy 2.0
Nestlé India 1.7
  • When compared to the four other companies that sell products in the Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts category in India (as part of their top-selling categories), Hindustan Unilever’s products achieve a mean HSR of 2.1 out of 5. This score ranks them second in this product category. For the Concentrates category, Hindustan Unilever scores the highest out of two companies, with an HSR of 1.5 out of 5.
  • Competing with other companies in three categories, Hindustan Unilever achieves a relative category score of 6.5 out of 10 based on its ranking within these categories.

Conclusion

  • Hindustan Unilever’s mean healthiness scores of 4.1 and relative category score of 6.5 result in an overall Product Profile score of 5.3 out of 10, which means the company ranks eighth.
  • Hindustan Unilever’s Product Profile score is driven more by the company’s relative performance against its peers (the relative category score) than by its mean healthiness score. The company is encouraged to continue and accelerate efforts to improve the nutritional quality of its products, and to shift its sales towards its healthy products.
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