U.S. Spotlight Index

Global Index

India Spotlight Index

Global Index 2018


Corporate Profile

17 (2013)

Corporate Profile

A Governance (12.5%)
B Products (25%)
C Accessibility (20%)
D Marketing (20%)
E Lifestyles (2.5%)
F Labeling (15%)
G Engagement (5%)
Highest score among rated companies
The percentages in parentheses indicate the weight assigned to each Category
Market capitalization
$11,119 m
# of employees
Total revenues*
$9,629 m
Reported product categories
Coffee; Soup; Noodles; Concentrates; Frozen Processed Food; Sauces, Dressings and Condiments
Reported revenue by geography**
Japan 49%, Asia 25%, Americas 14%, Europe 11%
* Source: Capital IQ, USD exchange rate as of 31 Dec 2014 ** Source: Capital IQ

Nutrition general




Corporate Profile

  • Governance

    Overall scores
    Rank 9
    Scores per criterion
    Criterion Absolute score Weighted score
    Strategy 4.219 1.404927
    Management 3.134 1.043622
    Reporting 5.937 1.977021
    Average scores
    Lowest 0
    Average 3.5622272727273
    Highest 8.731
  • Products

    Overall scores
    Rank 15
    Scores per criterion
    Criterion Absolute score Weighted score
    Formulation 2.17 1.085
    Profiling 0 0
    Average scores
    Lowest 0
    Average 2.7987727272727
    Highest 8.427
  • Accessibility

    Overall scores
    Rank 6
    Scores per criterion
    Criterion Absolute score Weighted score
    Pricing 1.968 0.984
    Distribution 1.016 0.508
    Average scores
    Lowest 0
    Average 1.1542272727273
    Highest 6.68
  • Marketing

    Overall scores
    Rank 18
    Scores per criterion
    Criterion Absolute score Weighted score
    Policy (all) 5 1.25
    Compliance (all) 0 0
    Policy (children) 0.039 0.00975
    Compliance (children) 0 0
    Average scores
    Lowest 0
    Average 3.7889090909091
    Highest 8.539
  • Lifestyles

    Overall scores
    Rank 11
    Scores per criterion
    Criterion Absolute score Weighted score
    Employees 3.25 1.08225
    Breastfeeding 1.875 0.624375
    Consumers 1.784 0.594072
    Average scores
    Lowest 0
    Average 2.4945
    Highest 7.072
  • Labeling

    Overall scores
    Rank 18
    Scores per criterion
    Criterion Absolute score Weighted score
    Facts 0.656 0.328
    Claims 0 0
    Average scores
    Lowest 0
    Average 2.3608181818182
    Highest 6.22
  • Engagement

    Overall scores
    Rank 7
    Scores per criterion
    Criterion Absolute score Weighted score
    Lobbying 2.5 1.25
    Stakeholder 5 2.5
    Average scores
    Lowest 0
    Average 2.7793636363636
    Highest 6.25

Areas of strength

- In the Global Index, Ajinomoto ranks fifteenth, which is an improvement on its previous rank of seventeenth in the 2013 Global Index.
- Ajinomoto has identified both overnutrition and undernutrition as key principles in its 2014-2016 medium-term management plan. The plan outlines the company’s aim to use products such as its umami seasonings to address health issues. The plan is globally applicable to all Ajinomoto operations.
- Compared to 2013, Ajinomoto has improved its nutrition R&D efforts. The company has disclosed targets to increase its nutrition R&D spending. However, it is unclear how Ajinomoto’s investment targets will continue beyond 2015. Ajinomoto also provides consolidated data on the number of new healthy products recently launched which is an improvement on 2013.
- Ajinomoto has demonstrated an increased focus on employee health and wellness. The company now has formal targets for employee participation in health and wellness programs. Programs offered to employees are more robust and address issues such as the importance of healthy diets, behavior and physical fitness.
- Ajinomoto focuses its undernutrition activities in higher-priority developing countries, primarily through its Ghana Nutrition Improvement Project. The project targets infant undernutrition through its Koko Plus product, a supplement that contains amino acids to fortify the nutrition of traditional infant weaning food. The project includes consideration of distribution, local production, marketing and consumer research of local needs. The project began pilot sales in FY2013 and experienced modest sales increases in FY2014. If effectively scaled up this project has the potential to have significant impact.

Areas for improvement

- Some key gaps remain since 2013. Ajinomoto lacks many key policies, such as those for product reformulation, healthy product affordability and accessibility, labeling, nutrient claims and lobbying.
- The company’s top-level management plan addresses several nutrition issues but does not cover other key areas such as labeling, marketing, distribution, or stakeholder engagement.
- Similar to 2013, Ajinomoto lacks a company definition of healthy products. The company also does not use a Nutrient Profiling System (NPS), nor does it have reformulation targets to reduce or increase levels of key nutrients.
- While Ajinomoto sells affordable products in developing countries and generally aims to make products that are accessible to all consumers, it still does not publish any affordability or accessibility commitments specifically related to healthy foods.
- Ajinomoto’s general commitment to advertising and marketing is narrow in scope and does not cover key issues for the responsible marketing of food to children or adults.
- Contrary to best practice, Ajinomoto does not publish formal nutrition labeling commitments. The company should codify formal commitments to provide information for all key nutrients on both the front and the back of product packaging.
- Ajinomoto could improve its disclosure on lobbying and stakeholder engagement. Although it publishes some examples of engagement initiatives, key elements remain undisclosed, such as nutrition-related lobbying positions, detail on how stakeholder engagement is structured and how stakeholder feedback impacts business decisions.

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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