Access to Nutrition highlights efforts by Grupo Bimbo, Nestle & PepsiCo in new rankings

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Mother and daughters walk into a farmers' market in Peru.   Image © Getty Images / jmillard37
Mother and daughters walk into a farmers' market in Peru. Image © Getty Images / jmillard37
The world’s biggest food and beverage companies are doing more to encourage better diets and provide better affordability and accessibility to consumers, but concerns remain about the overall healthiness of their portfolios.

This is according to the third edition of the Global Access to Nutrition Index 2018​ published by the Access To Nutrition Foundation (ATNF). The report also provides important information about how some of the initiatives from these companies in Latin America.

“The Access to Nutrition Indexes (ATNIs) are designed to track the contribution of F&B manufacturers to address global nutrition challenges and to encourage them to do more,” ​states the report. The top five companies on the list are: 1. Nestlé, 2. Unilever, 3. Danone, 4. Friesland Campina, 5. Mondelez.

Company initiatives

Grupo Bimbo, which is number 8 on the list, is praised for its ‘A Sustainable Way’ strategy for health and wellness, which covers governance, the nutritional quality of its products, and the promotion of healthy lifestyles and research alliances.

The company’s goals for 2020 include decreasing negative nutrients and increasing positive one, developing fortified/enriched products for vulnerable populations, and including messages promoting healthy lifestyles. “The company has allocated Board-level oversight for delivering its 2020 nutrition goals and conducts a standard internal audit and annual management review,”​ added the ATNF report.

PepsiCo receives credit for its efforts to increase under-served consumers’ access to affordable nutritious foods, including its Quaker 3 Minutos in Latin America. These healthy fortified oat-based breakfast products deliver about 10% of the daily value of calcium and vitamin A at a price point accessible to low-income populations.

Also in Mexico, the company works with Bodega Aurrerá, a Mexican discount store that has more than 1,780 locations in the country to offer products at special promotional prices.

“Industry-leading practice”

Nestlé, the top ranking company in the index, also assigns board-level oversight of its initiatives, including for its Nestlé in Society​, which is chaired by its CEO. “The company has; a comprehensive set of publicly available nutrition policies covering all areas that the ATNI methodology assesses. The company has defined 15 measurable 2020 nutrition-related commitments against which it reports progress.

“In addition, the company seeks specialist external advice from its formal panel of experts, which have a broad range of knowledge regarding nutrition issues. This is considered industry-leading practice.”

Unilever’s ‘Sustainable Living Plan' is also hailed for being at  the center of the company’s growth strategy to improve health and well-being for more than a billion people by 2020.

For more information and to read the full Global Access to Nutrition Index 2018, please click here​.

According to the Global Access to Nutrition Index 2018, the global food and beverage industry grew by 25% between 2011 and 2016, and generated revenue of almost $2.7 trillion in 2016.  Sales of soft drink doubled in Latin America between 2000 and 2013.

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