Nestlé said to analyse products after recognising 60% of food and drinks unhealthy

According to numerous media reports, Nestlé plans to update its nutrition standards after recognising that over 60% of its mainstream food and drinks products are unhealthy. Quoting an internal Nestlé presentation, the Financial Times reported that the brand recognised certain categories “will never be healthy” no matter how many changes it makes. This assessment is said to have covered about half of Nestlé’s overall portfolio because the analysis excluded categories such as baby formula, pet food, coffee and medical nutrition.

According to the presentation seen by FT, only 37% of Nestlé's food and beverages meet the rating of over 3.5 under Australia’s health star rating system, excluding products such as pet food and specialised nutrition. Under Australia’s health star rating system, which is also used by international groups such as the Access to Nutrition Foundation in their research, the products are rated out of five stars. While the 3.5-star threshold is considered by Nestlé to be “a recognised definition of health”, FT said approximately 70% of its overall food and drinks products do not meet that requirement. Likewise, the majority of Nestlé's beverages, excluding pure coffee, as well as ice cream and confectionery products do not meet the threshold. On the other hand, water and dairy products fared better, with 82% of water and 60% of dairy products meeting the threshold, FT reported.

Meanwhile, Reuters said Nestlé is in the midst of a "company-wide project" to analyse its entire portfolio to ensure the products meet consumers' nutritional needs. The FMCG giant said over the past seven years, it has also cut down the amount of sugars and sodium in its products by approximately 14% to 15% and aims to continue producing healthier products. 

MARKETING-INTERACTIVE has reached out to Nestlé for comment.

As consumers worldwide become more health-conscious nowadays, companies are also pushing themselves to produce healthier options. Unilever stopped marketing and advertising foods and beverages to children under the age of 12 in traditional last year. It also did the same on social media channels for those below the age of 13.

Instead, it implemented strict controls concerning the placement and content of its ads, and will not use influencers, celebrities or social media stars who mainly apparel to children under the age of 12. It has also limited the use of cartoon characters, although some will still be used for products with a specific nutritional profile. At the same time, Unilever's ice cream business comprising names such as Max, Paddle Pop, and Twister, also introduced the "Responsibly Made for Kids" promise to help parents and caregivers when choosing products for their children. 

Related articles:
#AsiaeCommerceAwards spills: How Nestlé adapted to excite consumers in the new normal
#AsiaeCommerceAwards highlight: Nestle Thailand banks on PR to drive up online sales
MILO Singapore pours some love to Nestlé Japan after it faces supply shortage
Nestlé SG taps on AR challenge to drive awareness for breakfast cereal
Indonesia to potentially become a top 3 market for Nestlé
Nestle Malaysia's marketing investment and innovation pay off