Areas of strength
- Some of the areas where The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC) performs notably well include nutrition governance and strategy. It demonstrates awareness of the key risks and opportunities presented by rising consumer demand for healthier products. Compared to 2013, the company has evolved the way it articulates its commitment to nutrition within its core business, for example by including a focus on well-being in its strategic set of commitments stating an, "End goal to inspire happier, healthier lives"
- The company recognizes that it has a role to play in addressing obesity and through its membership of the International Food and Beverage Alliance (IFBA) is committed to addressing the priorities set out in the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Action Plan. Senior executives on the company’s Board oversee the nutrition strategy. The strategy contains four strategic commitments to address obesity on a global scale, these are: Offering more low- or no-calories beverages, providing nutrition-related information on packaging, supporting physical activity programs, and marketing products responsibly. The strategy is reviewed annually by management.
- TCCC has focused on developing low or no-calorie beverages. As of September 2014, these constitute 25% of its global product portfolio, or 800 out of 3,500 beverage options worldwide. It is one of the few companies to track and report such figures.
- TCCC addresses undernutrition among low-income groups in India by setting affordable prices for a micronutrient fortified powder beverage and also invests to expand its offering to low-income populations. It also funds projects to make fortified products available to underprivileged school children in India and the Philippines.
- TCCC is one of only two companies that commits to not advertise any products to children under-12 where they make up more than 35% of the audience. This commitment extends across a wide range of media.
Areas for improvement
- Despite some positive measures, TCCC’s Global Index ranking dropped from ninth on the 2013 Global Index to twelfth on the 2016 edition. This is because some companies have improved their performance since the 2013 Index and also because in some areas TCCC is yet to adopt leading practices.
- TCCC’s strategy to address undernutrition is delivered primarily through philanthropic initiatives. The company could improve its positioning if it outlined a set of commitments aimed at addressing undernutrition in developing countries.
- The company has introduced a number of low and zero calorie soft drinks and fruit based beverages, however it has not adopted a Nutrient Profiling System (NPS). TCCC does not believe that products should be defined as ‘healthy’ or otherwise. Overall, TCCC has made slight progress since the 2013 Global Index regarding product reformulation.
- TCCC has established targets to reduce calories in some of its products. It is encouraged to extend the commitment to all relevant products globally.
- TCCC provides few details regarding strategies, targets or timelines to increase the affordability and accessibility of its zero and low-calorie products.
- While a responsible marketing to children policy outlines details of its approach, a responsible marketing policy for all consumers was not evident during this research round. Of note, in the 2013 Global Index TCCC stated that it was in compliance with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Code to guide its marketing to all consumers, but no such commitment was evident in the second Index.
- TCCC’s performance with regards to healthy lifestyles has declined significantly. This is due to reduced disclosure (e.g. this year the company does not articulate the business and health outcomes expected from its staff oriented programs) and poor performance against the new criterion to support breastfeeding mothers at work.