Global Index

India Spotlight Index

Global Index 2018

F. Labeling findings

Key findings

  • The average score increased to 4.0 from 2.5 in 2016, and Mondelez leads the ranking with 9.2 points.
  • Mars showed the most improvement by increasing its score by more than five points, which is mostly related to the complete roll-out of its labeling commitments and disclosure of this information, as well as its tracking of nutrition and health claims, which was not reported in 2016.
  • Overall, companies have made considerable progress on nutrition labeling since 2016. Nineteen companies now express a commitment to provide consumers with nutrition information on product labels, 15 of which commit to provide it both on the back and front of packs. The greatest difference compared to 2016 was that companies provided more evidence of roll-out of these commitments across markets, as well as more public disclosure of policies and performance. Combined with an increase in commitments to appropriately use health

Key recommendations

Companies should commit to provide comprehensive nutrition label information globally

To compensate for differences in the strength of local regulations around the world, companies should commit to provide comprehensive nutrition information on all product labels in all countries – to the extent they are legally allowed to do so. The seven companies that did not express global labeling commitments – Arla, ConAgra, Lactalis, Kraft Heinz, Meiji, Suntory and Tingyi – should formulate these or extend their existing commitments.

Companies and industry associations should commit to provide interpretative FOP labeling globally

Interpretative FOP labeling provides an excellent opportunity to quickly inform consumers about the healthiness of products. Although it is recognized that several companies are actively exploring opportunities to implement such labeling, and that a globally accepted and available system does not exist currently, companies should increase their effort and level of ambition by making a concrete and time-bound commitment to develop and implement such a system globally. Industry associations could play a role in harnessing and coordinating company commitments and efforts.

Improve industry association commitments on nutrition labeling

There are several gaps and ambiguities in the global nutrition labeling commitments defined by industry associations. The associations should update their commitments to fill these gaps. Furthermore, the CGF and IFBA are encouraged to harmonize their commitments, as these and their member companies overlap to a large extent.

Better transparency regarding the implementation of industry association commitments

Companies should be transparent and communicate on their websites if they pledge to industry associations’ nutrition labeling commitments and what these commitments entail, in order for these commitments to be recognized by the public and ATNF. In addition, in order to demonstrate progress across the industry, industry associations are urged to implement compliance monitoring of nutrition label information, similar to the auditing that is implemented regarding responsible marketing to children.

All companies should commit to use health and nutrition claims appropriately

For countries where no national regulatory system exists, less than half of the companies commit to use health and nutrition claims only when these comply with Codex guidance. In order to ensure that consumers are not misled, and are provided with accurate and appropriate information, all companies should make this commitment.

Health and nutrition claims should only be used for healthy products

ATNF believes that health and nutrition claims should only be used for products that are healthy, which should be defined by published nutritional criteria in companies’ NPSs. Similar to the example of Nestlé’s criteria for health claims, companies should commit to only apply health and nutrition claims on products that meet the company’s own healthy standard , aligned with recognized governmental or WHO standards.

Improve governance and transparency

Less than half of the companies have shown evidence of tracking the use of health and nutrition claims internally for their healthy products. This implies that, for the majority of companies, governance related to health and nutrition claims is weak. Companies are encouraged to track and publish the use of health and nutrition claims in order to demonstrate that they are used responsibly in support of healthy diets.

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.

Contact

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Funders

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

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