Nestle said on Monday it was working on updating its nutrition and health strategy, acknowledging in an internal document that more than 60% of its mainstream food and drink products do not meet a “recognised definition of health” and that some categories and products will “never be healthy” no matter how much they “renovate.”
Nestle, one of the world’s largest food businesses, came under fire after the Financial Times published its internal document findings. According to the site, a presentation given to top executives earlier this year revealed that only 37% of Nestle’s food and beverages by sales — excluding pet food and specialised medical nutrition — receive a health star rating of 3.5 or higher under Australia’s health star rating system.
According to the paper, this approach assigns a five-star rating to foods and is used in research by worldwide organisations like the access to Nutrition Foundation. 3.5 stars is a “accepted standard of health,” according to Nestle, the maker of KitKat, Maggi noodles, and Nescafe.
According to the FT research, even within its overall food and drink portfolio, 70% of food goods, 96 percent of beverages (excluding pure coffee), and 99 percent of confectionary and ice cream portfolio failed to satisfy that benchmark. Water and dairy products, on the other hand, fared better, with 82% of fluids and 60% of dairy products passing the required standard.
Baby formula, pet food, coffee, and the health science division, which creates foods for persons with certain medical disorders, were not included in the data. The report’s findings come at a time when there is a global push to combat obesity and promote better eating habits.
Nestle has announced in a statement that it is working on a “company-wide project” to refresh its nutrition and health strategy, looking at its entire portfolio to ensure that its products helped “meet people’s nutritional needs,” according to a Reuters update. It also stated that, despite having decreased sugars and sodium in its products by 14-15 percent over the last seven years, it would continue to work to make them healthier.