U.S. Spotlight Index

Global Index

India Spotlight Index

Global Index 2018

BMS Ranking

The approach used for the 2018 Global Index assessment of the world’s six largest BMS manufacturers’ marketing practices is very similar to that used for the 2016 Global Index. It again evaluates the performance of the same baby food companies in two ways:

BMS 1: Policy commitments, management systems and disclosure relating to BMS marketing.
BMS 2: In-country studies of marketing practices in Thailand and Nigeria


Company selection: The same approach to company selection is taken for the 2018 Global Index as for the 2016 Index. Six manufacturers of breast-milk substitutes (BMS) were assessed using a separate additional BMS methodology. To be included in the BMS analysis, sales of baby food had to account for more than 5% of a company’s total sales in FY2016. Four food and beverage (F&B) sector companies were included on this basis, along with the two largest pharmaceutical sector manufacturers.

Assessment: As for the 2016 Global Index, the approach that the 2018 Global Index takes to assessing the BMS manufacturers’ compliance with the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and subsequent WHA resolutions [1], evaluates companies’ performance in two ways:

BMS 1 Corporate Profile assessment: The ATNI BMS Corporate Profile methodology is designed to evaluate whether the six selected companies have robust BMS marketing policies and management systems, and their level of transparency.

BMS 2 In-country assessments: Two countries have again been selected for in-country assessments that are rated as higher risk on a risk rating system used by FTSE4Good. All companies – including local companies or any other multinationals – whose products or marketing are found in the cities in which the assessment is taking place are included in the study.  

How the BMS score is calculated and links to the overall Global Index score: The total BMS score is an average of the BMS Corporate Profile assessment score (BMS1) and the ‘in-country’ assessments of marketing practices (BMS2). The total possible BMS score is 100%. The higher this score the closer the company has come to achieving full compliance with the ATNI methodology, which reflects the recommendations of The Code, WHA resolutions and local regulatory requirements. An adjustment to the four F&B companies’ final Global Index score is then made, proportionate to the BMS score, up to a maximum of 1.5. Had Abbott and Mead Johnson been included in the Global Index, their score would also have been adjusted.

[1] Although the WHA adopted new recommendations in resolution WHA 69.9 in May 2016 which clarify that the scope of The Code extends to formulas for young children up to 36 months of age and include guidance about how CF intended for infants and young children between six and 36 months of age should be marketed, this Index will not assess companies’ compliance with this resolution.

Improving nutrition for all

The Access to Nutrition Index rates food and beverage manufacturers´ nutrition-related policies, practices and disclosures worldwide on a recurring basis.


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