This category assesses the extent to which a company's corporate strategy includes specific elements to contribute to healthy diets for everyone, particularly those who are obese or overweight, and those who are food insecure. The extent to which this approach is embedded within its governance and management systems and is formally reported on is assessed using three criteria:
A1 Corporate nutrition strategy
A2 Nutrition governance and management systems
A3 Quality of reporting
Seven of the ten companies state publicly that their business strategy includes a focus on nutrition and health, and/or make commitments to deliver more, healthy products to the U.S. market. However, no companies, except Kellogg make specific reference to addressing, as part of their commercial strategy, the needs of priority populations whose access to healthy food is constrained by low income or geographic factors. The biggest opportunity and greatest urgency to improve nutrition and health is among these priority populations. Therefore, all companies are urged to add to their commercial nutrition strategy a specific focus on reaching these populations.
Only two companies, Nestlé and Unilever, have defined a comprehensive set of objectives to make clear how they intend to deliver their nutrition policy or strategy in the United States. All other companies need to define a similar comprehensive set of objectives that cover important nutrition-related topics such as product reformulation, the affordability and accessibility of healthy products, responsible marketing, nutrition labeling and stakeholder engagement.
Public disclosure of managerial and other arrangements that companies use to deliver their nutrition policies or strategies, as well as about the composition of any U.S. expert panels that advise them, is lacking across the board. It is critical that all companies become more transparent about their nutrition governance as it applies to the United States specifically.
A key metric that food and beverage manufacturers should use to demonstrate how they are delivering on their commitment to improving health and nutrition is the proportion of their U.S. sales generated by healthy products. Only one of the companies discloses this type of information publicly (Unilever).
Similarly, formal and regular reporting on companies’ overall approaches to and progress on tackling nutrition issues in the United States is limited. This is also the case when compared to their reporting on a global level. Nestlé leads in this area by publishing an annual report on its U.S. activities, approach and progress. All companies should deliver a similar level of reporting – either in a separate health and nutrition report or sustainability/corporate social responsibility report or embedded within other (global) reporting. In addition, companies should increase their public disclosure on their support of non-commercial programs to support healthy lifestyles and better diets, including those that address food insecurity.
The Access to Nutrition Index rates food and beverage manufacturers´ nutrition-related policies, practices and disclosures worldwide on a recurring basis.
Access to Nutrition Foundation
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