Study finds that large CPG compounds do not make food and drink healthier

Study finds that large CPG compounds do not make food and drink healthier

Diving Brief:

  • The 11 largest US food companies haven’t made enough progress in making their products healthier, more affordable and more accessible to people — even though they’ve said publicly that they’re increasing their commitments, according to a study by the Access to Nutrition Initiative.
  • Only a few companies have translated these goals into tangible actions, according to ATNI’s 2022 U.S. Nutrition Access Index. The group discovered that about 70% of all food and beverage items are less “healthy,” and the big CPG doesn’t get the majority of its sales from “Healthy” products.
  • The recent White House conference on hunger, nutrition, and health turned attention to how to improve the food system, health care, and policy to end hunger and reduce rates of preventable diet-related disease. This study shows how far major CPG companies need to go to help achieve these goals.

Diving Insight:

Big CPGs can talk about nutrition as much as they want, but the words don’t add up to the work. The 2022 ATNI Index found that the procedure was largely non-existent yet — but at least it started talking.

ATNI analyzed products and policies from the 11 largest food and beverage companies in the United States – Campbell Soup, Coca-Cola, Conagra Brands, General Mills, Kellogg, Keurig Dr Pepper, Kraft Heinz, Mars, Nestlé, PepsiCo and Unilever.

They looked at many different aspects – including product validity and reformulation goals, responsible marketing, access and affordability of healthy foods, labeling and pressure to improve nutrition strategies. These have been considered and scheduled to give companies a score between one and 10.

Saw many companies Higher scores this yearCompared to the previous 2018 index. The average score this year is 4.2 out of 10, up from 3 out of 10 in 2018.

Unilever has the highest score with a score of 5.5 out of 10, Because of its increasing focus on nutrition strategy and accountability, reformulation, support for healthy diets in the workforce, and pressure to support nutrition. Kellogg, PepsiCo, General Mills and Nestlé took the top five.

But while there has been improvement, the report noted that even a score of 5.6 out of 10 is considered too low and a poor performer. Coca-Cola was the lowest ranked company, at 3.0. Kraft Heinz and Conagra Brands ranked second and third lowest.

Greg S. said: “I am concerned about such limited progress that companies have made over the past five years,” Jarrett, CEO of ATNI, said in a statement. “We are seeing some improvements, but we cannot afford such slow progress among the largest manufacturers that make, market and sell our food. Both the private and public sectors need to do more to improve the diets of American families.”

The report found that many companies take a look at what is “healthy,” although at the time this data was collected, there was no standard definition of the term. Late last month, the Food and Drug Administration published a proposed new definition of the term “healthy.”

Six companies have implemented informational labeling on the front of the packaging for more than 80% of their products, and nine companies have online nutritional information for the same percentage, both proposed in the Biden administration’s national strategy to end hunger and start improving the diet. health outcomes.

But much of the progress – or lack thereof – lies in the actual work. It’s easy for companies to say they plan to reformulate products to reduce less beneficial nutrients, but it takes more work to actually do so. Given that it often takes months, if not more than a year, for a significant CPG to get a reformulated product off the shelf, there may be more progress in changing product formulations to reduce less beneficial ingredients in the near future.

The study also noted that only four companies appear to be making their health products accessible to low-income consumers. This may be more difficult now than it was during the time ATNI measured the company’s progress. Today, persistent inflation continues to push up food prices.

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