Nestle’s ‘unhealthy’ food portfolio controversy: All you need to know

Nestle, the world’s largest packaged food and drinks firm, has been going through criticism after an inside presentation indicated {that a} majority of its mainstream food and drinks portfolio is unhealthy.

The firm is now in damage control mode and stated that it’s going to work on updating its diet and well being technique.


An internal document accessed by the Financial Times newspaper described a big portion of Nestle’s food and drinks as unhealthy. The doc was an inside presentation circulated among the many firm’s high executives early in 2021.

It indicated that greater than 60 per cent of Nestle’s mainstream food and drinks portfolio couldn’t be thought of wholesome below a “recognised definition of health”.

The firm additionally revealed within the inside doc that a few of its classes will “never be healthy”.

“Some of our categories and products will never be ‘healthy’ no matter how much we renovate,” stated the Nestle inside presentation.

The doc additional highlighted that the evaluation utilized to about half of Nestle’s total portfolio as classes like medical diet, pet food, espresso and toddler formulation had been excluded from the evaluation.

Out of the food and beverage assessed, 37 per cent achieved a score over 3.5 below Australia’s well being star score system. The system scores food out of 5 stars and is utilized in analysis by worldwide teams such because the Access to Nutrition Foundation.

In the inner doc, Nestle described the three.5-star threshold as a “recognised definition of health”. According to the doc, about 70 per cent of Nestle’s food merchandise and 96 per cent of drinks — excluding pure espresso — failed to meet the brink. In addition, 99 per cent of Nestle’s confectionery and ice cream portfolio additionally failed to meet the brink score.

Only the water and each day merchandise of the corporate scored higher, with 82 per cent of waters and 60 per cent of dairy assembly the three.5-star threshold.

Nestle acknowledged within the doc that the corporate’s food portfolio nonetheless underperforms in opposition to exterior definitions of well being.

“We have made significant improvements to our products…[but] our portfolio still underperforms against external definitions of health in a landscape where regulatory pressure and consumer demands are skyrocketing,” the inner presentation stated.

As per the presentation, a few of the firm’s merchandise reminiscent of DiGiorno three meat croissant crust pizza embody about 40 per cent of an individual’s advisable each day sodium consumption whereas others like sizzling pockets pepperoni pizza include 48 per cent.

Another Nestle product, the orange-flavoured San Pellegrino drink, get an ‘E’ score, which is the worst mark obtainable below a unique scorning system, Nutria-Score. The drink has greater than 7.1 gram of sugar per 100 ml.

There are a number of different Nestle food and drinks that include elevated ranges of sugar or sodium.


The report comes at a time when the maker of Maggi noodles, KitKat and different common merchandise is attempting to promote more healthy consuming. The firm has already stated that it’s updating its diet and well being technique.

The food large stated it’s engaged on a “company-wide” undertaking to replace diet and well being technique. The group can be updating its inside diet requirements.

“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,” Nestle stated after the report.

“Our efforts build on a strong foundation of work over decades…For example, we have reduced the sugars and sodium in our products significantly in the past two decades, about 14-15 per cent in the past seven years alone,” it stated.

“We believe that a healthy diet means finding a balance between wellbeing and enjoyment. This includes having some space for indulgent foods, consumed in moderation. Our direction of travel has not changed and is clear: we will continue to make our portfolio tastier and healthier,” it added.

Read | Nestle’s Digital Push: FMCG major to spend Rs 260 crore on IT infra in India

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