Report: Food Companies Don’t Come Across on Nutrition

Oct. 18, 2022
Unilever scores highest in rating from the Access to Nutrition Initiative.

When it comes to making healthy products, major food & beverage companies talk a good game but don’t really deliver, according to a report from a nutrition advocacy group.

The report from the Access to Nutrition Initiative claims that of all the products from 11 large food & beverage processors, less than a third could be classified as healthy. About 70% were deemed unhealthy, with unacceptable levels of fat, sugar, sodium or other negatives.

“While all companies have placed a greater focus on nutrition in their corporate strategies since the first index was released in 2018, their actual products have not become healthier, and they are not making sufficient efforts to safeguard children from the marketing of unhealthy products,” a release accompanying the report says.

The Access to Nutrition Initiative scorecard ranks companies by a composite score that takes into account nutrition governance and management, product portfolio, marketing and lobbying efforts, and other factors. The first one was issued in 2018, and overall, there has been little progress since then, the group says.

Unilever scored the highest of all the companies examined, followed by Kellogg and PepsiCo. Bringing up the rear were Conagra, Kraft Heinz and Coca-Cola.

Measures that the report recommends include: prioritizing marketing for healthier products; adopting easy-to-understand front-of-pack nutritional labeling; and supporting, or at least not lobbying against, public policy measures aimed at improving nutritional health.

About the Author

Pan Demetrakakes | Senior Editor

Pan has written about the food and beverage industry for more than 25 years. His areas of coverage have included formulations, processing, packaging, marketing and retailing. Pan worked for Food Processing Magazine for six years in the 1990s, where he was operations editor (his current role), touring dozens of food plants of every description. He has also worked for Packaging and Food & Beverage Packaging magazines, the latter as chief editor, during which he won three ASBPE awards. He is a graduate of Stanford University with a BA in communications.

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