U.S. Spotlight Index

Global Index

India Spotlight Index

Global Index 2018

Product Profile

Key Findings

  • Of the total 23,013 products assessed, less than one third are considered healthy in the Product Profile analysis (i.e. with an HSR of 3.5 or higher), and only 14% of the products meet WHO EURO criteria for marketing to children.
  • None of the companies’ portfolios comprise more than 50% of products that meet the healthy standard suitable to be marketed to children.
  • The ranking of companies on the Product Profile is different to the Corporate Profile, with dairy companies in the lead and companies with diverse portfolios (such as Nestlé, Unilever and PepsiCo) in the middle of the ranking.
  • Companies that predominantly offer confectionery are at the bottom of the ranking, which is expected  based on the ingredients of these categories.
  • While many companies reported their sales for 2016 generated by ‘healthy’ products, for the most part their definitions of ‘healthy’ appear less strict than that of the independent HSR system used in the Product Profile, which is of considerable concern.
  • The healthiness of all companies’ portfolios taken together vary by country. The U.S. and New Zealand had the highest mean HSR of the nine countries: 2.6 out of 5.

The Product Profile results highlight five key ways in which companies could improve their impact on public health:

  • Reformulate products: Companies should work to improve the nutritional composition of their existing products, particularly established, high-sales volume products. Companies should set and publish targets for achieving certain levels of nutritional quality by category and/or by country, or both. Companies need to set and publish their own clear SMART targets for each key nutrient, such as salt (or sodium), and invest further in delivering progress year-on-year, in both existing products and new product launches, in all markets. Companies should increase their focus on improving the healthiness of categories in countries where those categories appear on average to be of lower nutritional quality than in others.
  • Improve the product mix: Companies should look to increase the proportion of healthier products within the portfolio, particularly those they market to children or which play a large part in children’s diets.
  • Stop marketing unhealthy products to children: Companies should stop marketing products to children that do not meet the health threshold in the appropriate regional WHO nutrient profiling model or equivalent.
  • Shift marketing investment:Companies should also look at redirecting marketing budgets towards the healthier products to drive sales of those products and increase their relative contribution to revenues.
  • Adopt comprehensive labeling for all markets: Companies should adopt a global policy to include all Codexrecommended nutrients on product labels.

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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