U.S. Spotlight Index

Global Index

India Spotlight Index

Global Index 2018


3 (2015)







Product Profile


Nutrition General

A Governance (12.5%)
B Products (25%)
C Accessibility (20%)
D Marketing (20%)
E Lifestyles (2.5%)
F Labeling (15%)
G Engagement (5%)


A Governance (12.5%)
B Products (25%)
C Accessibility (20%)
D Marketing (20%)
E Lifestyles (2.5%)
F Labeling (15%)
G Engagement (5%)

Corporate Profile

# of employees
Market capitalization
$39,162 m
Reported product categories
Baby Food, Dairy, Water and Beverages
Total revenues*
$21,944 m
Reported revenue by geography**
Asia Pacific / Latin America / Middle East 40%, Europe 39%, North America 20%
* Source: Morningstar, USD historic exchange rate ** Source: Morningstar

Main areas of strength

• Danone is commended for making improvements in all Index categories, as well as on undernutrition and marketing of breast-milk substitutes (BMS). These changes have led to a substantially increased 2018 Index score of 6.3 (including the adjustment of -0.8 for BMS marketing), up from 4.9 in the 2016 Index. As in 2016, Danone ranks third.
• It is clear that Danone is committed to contributing positively to diets and health and that this underpins its growth aspirations. Its mission, commercial strategy and management systems, particularly the Danone 2020 strategy and plan, are set up to deliver that goal.
• Compared to other companies, Danone ranks well on the Product Profile, at second: 53% of its products meeting the healthy threshold of (HSR of 3.5 or more), contributing an estimated 41% to its 2016 revenues.
• In 2017 Danone adopted clear 2020 targets to improve its products, underpinned by a relatively strong NPS. It intends 100% to meet its Nutrition Targets by 2020 and reports on the percentage of products that have met each target, illustrating good transparency.
• Affordability and accessibility are embedded within strategic planning for the whole business, with a specific focus on low-income populations. Danone is in the process of setting 2030 targets, including a target to reach a specified number of consumers with affordably priced healthy products by 2030.
• Danone achieves the full score for marketing to all consumers, the only company to do so. In relation to marketing to children, it also scores well.
• Danone demonstrates a clear commercial commitment to addressing undernutrition, conducting comprehensive research studies in each market to assess the nutritional needs of local population and developing a customized product strategy for each market. In addition, its innovative Danone Communities Fund supports social enterprises that aim to reduce malnutrition and access safe drinking water, among other things.

Priority areas for improvement

• Danone ranks second in the Product Profile assessment with a score of 6.2 out of 10, based on an assessment of its major product categories in seven countries. Danone was estimated to derive 41% of its total sales in those countries from healthy products, i.e. those that achieve a rating of 3.5 stars or more in the HSR system. Despite the company’s relatively good performance, there is significant scope to further improve the healthiness of its portfolio.
• Danone should review whether its NPS sets sufficiently stringent thresholds for determining the healthiness of products, given that its system does not seem to be as strict as the HSR system used in the Product Profile.
• The company should put more emphasis on ensuring that its healthy products are as accessible and affordable as less healthy options, particularly by developing tailored pricing and distribution strategies for such products. Further focusing its efforts on higher priority countries would help to address undernourished populations in countries with greatest need.
• To improve its policy on marketing to children, Danone should apply it to young people up to 18 and lower its child audience threshold to 25%. It could do more to ensure it is using online media responsibly and cease using fantasy and animated characters with a strong appeal to children in its marketing, except in relation to healthy products. It should also extend that commitment to point-of-sale marketing and packaging.
• Danone should stop branding consumer-focused programs to encourage healthy diets and active lives and only fund independently designed, implemented and evaluated programs.
• Danone is encouraged to extend its BMS marketing policy to include growing-up milks and to all markets for all products. It should further revise its policy to encompass all of the recommendations of The Code and subsequent World Health Assembly resolutions and make sure it has a full suite of management tools, such as procedures and instructions to staff, to implement each of its commitments.

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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