A brand new normal in company transparency: Nestl reveals the dietary worth of the worldwide portfolio

On the finish of final yr, Nestl introduced plans to report yearly on the dietary profile of its world portfolio, beginning in its 2022 annual report.

For the world’s largest meals producer, with a turnover in 2022 of DKK 94.4 billion. CHF (94.7 billion) in 188 nations, that is no imply feat. However as we speak (March 21) the outcomes are in, making Nestl the primary firm to disclose its world dietary values ​​in keeping with web gross sales of merchandise.

The findings

Nestl benchmarks its whole portfolio from drinks to confectionery and cooking aids towards the Well being Star Score (HSR) system, an Australian and New Zealand initiative that assigns well being rankings to packaged meals and drinks.

Formulated merchandise for infants and younger kids in addition to meals for particular medical functions are excluded from the system. For Nestl, because of this its medical and toddler diet merchandise, which introduced in 15.7 billion CHF in 2022, in addition to its pet meals enterprise are exempt.

The dietary profile Nestl’s portfolio

When PetCare is excluded from specialised diet

When PetCare is included in specialised diet

HSR of lower than 1.5



HSR of 1.5 to lower than 3.5



HSR of three.5 or above



Internet income from merchandise the place HSR will not be used:

Specialised diet



Outcomes reveal 57% of Nestlé’s product portfolio, together with its specialty diet merchandise however excluding its pet care enterprise, achieves an HSR score of three.5 stars. 22 % of the portfolio has an HSR of 1.5 to < 3.5 stars, and 21% has an HSR of < 1.5 stars.

This can be a affirmation that we’ve got finished an excellent job and a whole lot of extra time over the last years, Bernard Meunier, govt vice chairman, head of strategic enterprise models (SBUs), advertising and marketing and gross sales, advised FoodNavigator.

As for whether or not the outcomes have been as anticipated, Meunier advised us they are not a complete shock. The corporate had a sense it was in the fitting place, he defined.

It’s a good affirmation that we’ve got come a good distance and we’re in an excellent place. However that does not imply we cease there. We’re in fact persevering with to work with our merchandise.

Market stage dietary worth reporting

Along with reporting on its world portfolio, Nestl additionally stories on the dietary worth of native portfolios in 13 nations utilizing the native, government-approved nutrient profiling system. In Europe, nations embody France and Germany (benchmarked towards the Nutri-Rating) and the UK (benchmarked towards the UK Authorities Nutrient Profiling Mannequin).

The corporate determined to report individually on every nation, because the figures for various nations can’t be in contrast on account of the truth that every nutrient profiling system has completely different traits.

In France, 34% of Nestl merchandise are coated by the Nutri-Rating scheme. Nutri-Rating A is the classification with the best share of merchandise (17%). In Germany, the place 46% of Nestl’s merchandise are coated by Nutri-Rating, Nutri-Rating C is the classification with the best share of merchandise (19%).

Within the UK, the place 69% of Nestlé’s portfolio is roofed by the UK Nutrient Profiling Mannequin, which assigns meals as both HFSS or not, the bulk (42%) of its merchandise are labeled as non-HFSS.

Well being Star Score not excellent however very strong

The HSR scheme was launched in 2014 to assist customers evaluate the general dietary profile of meals inside the similar class of packaged and processed items. The voluntary front-of-pack labeling scheme provides a rating from 0.5 stars to five stars primarily based on an algorithm that assesses merchandise on the overall content material of vitality, saturated fats, sodium and sugar (which may decrease the rating) in addition to fibre, content material of protein, fruit, greens, nuts and legumes (which may enhance the rating).

In Australia and New Zealand, HSR is a voluntary FOP diet label (carried right here by Nestl subsidiary Uncle Tobys). Picture supply: Nestl

It’s the popular labeling scheme for the Entry to Diet Initiative (ATNI), which classifies merchandise with a score of three.5 stars or extra as typically more healthy. The Entry to Diet World Index ranks the 25 largest meals and beverage producers utilizing the HSR scheme. The most recent world index locations Nestl in first place.

However HRS will not be with out its critics. In 2018, analysis carried out in Australia, for instance, discovered that over half (57%) of recent discretionary (most energy-dense, nutrient-poor) meals achieved an HSR score of two.5 well being stars. The identical researchers additionally present in a separate paper that HSR was principally used on meals thought of ultra-processed.

Acknowledging that the scheme will not be excellent, Nestl justified its choice for HSR, describing it as one of the crucial sturdy within the trade. It has been peer-reviewed and considerably researched beforehand, so it is rather strong, Marie-Chantal Messier, head of meals and trade affairs in Nestlé’s public affairs workforce, advised this publication.

That ATNI makes use of HSR to benchmark the 25 largest meals and beverage firms additionally weighed on Nest’s determination. For the sake of transparency, Nestl now makes use of a really related foundation of comparability. It isn’t precisely the identical foundation as a result of ATNI solely focuses on the 5 largest classes we’ve got and solely on choose markets. What [we are publishing] now’s full transparency, Messier stated.

Additionally contributing to Nestl’s determination to benchmark towards the HSR is that its algorithm, with some tweaks, is much like different in style FOP diet labeling schemes such because the UK Nutrient Profiling Mannequin within the UK and Nutri-Rating in Europe. I’d say they’re associated cousins, defined the general public affairs skilled.

The place to now?

For the Maggi-to-Smarties maker, the outcomes mirror a whole lot of revolutions in its world product portfolio. Nestl has made adjustments to its portfolio, using reformulation instruments and bettering its merchandise over time.

Whether or not progress has been made since 2021, when the British newspaper Monetary Occasions printed leaked inner paperwork suggesting that 37% of Nestlé’s portfolio (excluding pet meals and specialist medical diet merchandise) achieved an HSR score of three.5 or extra is probably going, regardless of no change within the two units of figures.

Nestl doesn’t imagine the leaked paperwork introduced the proper calculation, Meunier defined. Now we current revised figures exhibiting the precise proportion of Nestl merchandise with an HSR of three.5 stars and above, together with specialised diet.

These [2021] numbers have been out of context, nor have been they the identical numbers we’ve got as we speak as a result of we hadn’t finished the work. What we current and publish will not be comparable [today] is the proper image.

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Nestl has dedicated to setting a world goal for the more healthy a part of its portfolio later this yr. Picture supply: Nestl

Going ahead, Nestl has dedicated to setting a world goal for the more healthy a part of its portfolio later this yr. However total, the meals main will not be in a race to vary or enhance the proportions right here or there. We really feel that we’ve got an excellent portfolio which is properly balanced, repeated Meunier.

Nestl additionally has no plans to show indulgent merchandise, similar to chocolate, into well being merchandise. However reformulation efforts proceed. We’ll proceed to enhance merchandise that may be [reformulated] by lowering sugar, sodium and fats ranges whereas sustaining our successful recipes, Meunier stated. We’re in these classes to win, and to win is to achieve client choice.

Aside from reformulation and innovation efforts, Nestl is pulling different levers relating to the 43% of its portfolio (excluding pet meals) with lower than 3.5 HSR stars. For instance, Nestl lately strengthened its practices for accountable advertising and marketing to kids and introduced that it’s going to voluntarily restrict its advertising and marketing to kids underneath the age of 16.

We’ll step up our portion steering and we are going to step up our training, added Messier, which can embody offering customers and households with recipes, encouraging wholesome swaps and offering extra providers round what quantifies a wholesome and balanced food regimen.

Do nutrient-based packaging labeling schemes assist or undermine food-based dietary pointers? Classes from the Australian Well being Star Score System
Revealed December 2018
DOI: 10.3390/nu10010032
Authors: Lawrence M, Dickie S, Woods J.

Worldwide Journal of Behavioral Diet and Bodily Exercise
Evaluation of the usage of the Australian Well being Star Score system by stage of meals processing
Revealed December 2018
DOI: 10.1186/s12966-018-0760-7
Authors: Dickie, S., Woods, JL & Lawrence, M.

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