U.S. Spotlight Index

Global Index

India Spotlight Index

Global Index 2018

G. Engagement findings

Key findings

  • The average score decreased to 3.9 from 4.0 in 2016, and PepsiCo leads the ranking with a score of 7.9 points.
  • PepsiCo also showed the largest improvement in score, increasing more than three points, mainly due to disclosing more information regarding structured stakeholder engagement (related to criteria G2).
  • While there is some improvement in companies’ commitments and disclosure relating to their lobbying activities (in Criterion G1), overall performance is still very low.
  • Performance related to stakeholder engagement (in Criterion G2) has improved, with the majority of companies providing relevant evidence of using stakeholder input to inform their nutrition policies and programs.
  • The principles that were assessed in Category G remained the same, but the basis for calculating the scores for Criteria G1 and G2 changed compared to 2016. Low scores across companies on commitments regarding engagement with governments and policymakers in support of public health reduced scores in G1, as this aspect was now included in the scoring for the first time (it was an unscored indicator in 2016; see the ATNI methodology for details). The 2016 score is provided for reference rather than for direct comparison.

Key recommendations

Unequivocal commitments to lobbying on nutrition issues only in support of public health

Danone, Nestlé and PepsiCo are the only companies to commit to lobbying in support of public health as it relates to nutrition issues. However, they are encouraged to strengthen their commitments by stating clearly that they will not engage in any other nutrition-related lobbying, or to state clearly that they will not lobby against initiatives to improve public health. All other companies should express such commitments as well.

Providing a comprehensive overview of companies’ lobbying and other direct or indirect ways to influence the public agenda

Both Mars and PepsiCo provide a comprehensive overview of their lobbying policies, activities and memberships in and support of other organizations involved on their behalf in lobbying and influencing. Other companies should follow these examples, especially regarding actual lobbying activities. In the U.S. and the EU, public databases have been set up to disclose industry lobbying expenditure and activities. Companies should improve their transparency by disclosing such information on their own websites, (for example, providing a dashboard that is updated regularly).

Low scoring companies should increase their focus on stakeholder engagement

Six companies – Ferrero, Kraft Heinz, Lactalis, Meiji, Suntory and Tingyi – do not report a commitment or other information regarding stakeholder engagement to inform their nutrition policies and practices. Four other companies – Arla, BRF, ConAgra and Ajinomoto – report very limited information. These companies are urged to improve their commitments and performance given how serious global nutrition challenges are and how critical it is that all companies play their part in addressing them.

A structured approach to stakeholder engagement, linked to the corporate strategy

Nestlé, PepsiCo and Unilever are exemplars of a structured approach to stakeholder engagement that is embedded in their central strategies, ‘Creating Shared Value’, ‘Performance with Purpose’ and the ‘Unilever Sustainable Living Plan’, respectively. Other companies are encouraged to mirror these approaches to ensure that external stakeholder input is used to inform corporate strategy, including a focus on nutrition and health.

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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