ZURICH, Switzerland (AFP) — Global food giant Nestle said Monday it was developing a new nutrition strategy after the Financial Times reported on an internal document showing that most of its food and drinks were unhealthy.
An internal presentation circulated among top executives earlier this year had revealed that more than 60 percent of Nestle’s mainstream food and drinks portfolio did not meet “recognised definition of health”, the British business daily reported.
The presentation, seen by the FT, revealed that only 37 percent of Nestle’s food and beverages by revenues (not including products like pet food, baby food and specialised medical nutrition) achieved a rating of over 3.5 under Australia’s five-star health rating system.
Nestle, owner of everything from chocolate to coffee and baby food brands, has for several years been reorganising its activities to focus more on health and wellness as consumers increasingly snub frozen pizzas and sugary drinks.
The Swiss company has among other things been making a major push in vegetarian and vegan products.
“We have made significant improvements to our products,” the Nestle presentation said, according to the FT.
But, it added, “our portfolio still underperforms against external definitions of health in a landscape where regulatory pressure and consumer demands are skyrocketing.”
A Nestle spokeswoman told AFP the company was currently “working on a company-wide project to update its pioneering nutrition and health strategy.”
“We are looking at our entire portfolio across the different phases of people’s lives to ensure our products are helping meet their nutritional needs and supporting a balanced diet,” she said
The initial focus, she added, would be on “assessing the part (of) our food and beverage portfolio that can be measured against external nutrition profiling systems,” like the Australian system.
According to the FT, Nestle is aiming to unveil its new strategy this year.
Quoting an unnamed person familiar with the situation, the paper suggested the company might drop products pushing down its health ratings such as confectionery items.
© Agence France-Presse