The 2018 ranking is led by Nestlé with a score of 6.8, up from 5.9 in 2016. Nestlé shows above average performance in all, and improvements in most, of the categories of the Index. Unilever is second (6.7 versus 6.4 in 2016), and Danone third (6.3 versus 4.9 in 2016).
Many Index companies have stepped up their efforts to contribute to better diets over the last two years:
- Seven companies have strengthened their nutrition strategies and management system
- Ten companies demonstrated that they include nutrition considerations in their merger and acquisition (M&A) decisions
- The companies report to offer higher percentages of ‘healthy’ products (according to their own definitions) as compared to 2016 in their portfolio, with seven companies now reporting that more than half of their products are healthy. This is five more than in 2016. However, most of the companies’ definitions are less strict than those applied by ATNF in the Product Profile assessment
- Seventeen companies commit to investing in healthy product development and fourteen commit to aligning their research and development (R&D) to important public health frameworks such as national dietary guidelines.
- The companies report to offer higher percentages of ‘healthy’ products (according to their own definitions) as compared to 2016 in their portfolio, with seven companies now reporting that more than half of their products are healthy. This is five more than in 2016. However, most of the companies’ definitions are less strict than those applied by ATNF in the Product Profile assessment.
- Four companies have improved their NPS (used to assess and improve the healthiness of products) or strengthened the nutritional criteria related to them, and one company is in the process of implementing a new NPS.
However, companies have only set product reformulation targets for half of the product categories assessed and poorly define these targets.
- The majority of companies (16) define one or more targets to reformulate their products, but six companies - Ajinomoto, Kraft Heinz, BRF, Suntory, Tingyi and Lactalis – do not report any relevant targets.
- Across all companies and categories, in about half of all product categories assessed (61 out of 117), companies did not set targets for relevant nutrients.
- None of the companies yet has a full set of targets for all relevant nutrients across all product categories.
- The large majority of companies (19) have not yet set targets to increase positive nutrients (i.e. fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes and whole grains).
Aspects of company performance that need to be improved:
- Taking a systematic and clear approach to making healthy products more affordable and available to all consumers
- Ceasing irresponsible marketing to al consumers and to children in particular
- Delivering clear, positive results from employee health and consumer education programs.
- Support to breastfeeding mothers
- Better labeling
- Only three companies – Danone, Nestle and PepsiCo – commit to lobby in support of measures to prevent and address obesity and diet-related chronic diseases.