Saturday, March 23, 2013

Major Food Companies Rate Badly In Nutrition

Most Global Food Manufacturers Not Doing Well Making Nutritious Products

The world’s largest food and beverage manufacturers must do more to increase access to nutritious products and positively exercise their influence on consumer choice and behavior, says the first edition of the global Access to Nutrition Index report and rankings, released earlier this month.

The Access to Nutrition Index is a new global initiative that evaluates food and beverage manufacturers on their policies, practices, and performance related to obesity and undernutrition.

By providing companies with a tool for benchmarking their nutrition practices and serving as an impartial source of information for interested stakeholders, ATNI aims to encourage companies to increase consumer access to nutritious products and responsibly exercise their influence on consumer choice and behavior.

ATNI is supported by the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust.

The report assesses the nutrition-related commitments, performance and disclosure practices of 25 of the world’s largest food and beverage manufacturers as measured against international guidelines, norms and accepted best practices.

Key findings of the new report on food manufacturing companies:

Companies are not meaningfully engaged in addressing undernutrition and could better leverage their expertise, skills and scale to help combat this global health challenge.

Companies’ practices often do not measure up to their commitments. Companies are missing key opportunities to implement their commitments in core business areas such as product formulation, marketing and distribution.

The highest scoring companies have clear commitments, detailed policies and measurable targets related to nutrition. They have also charged senior executives with achieving these targets and provided incentives for them to do so.

Companies are rated on a scale of 0 to 10 based on their nutrition related commitments, performance and disclosure across seven different Categories, with the product formulation, availability and responsible marketing assigned a total of 65% of weight in the ranking process.:

Among brands well known in the U.S, Danone ranked 1st with a score of 6.3, Unilever 2nd with 6.1. Nestle, in third place had a score of 6.0. Scores fell rapidly for the remaining 22 companies on the list.

Among the other companies rated were:

Pepsico scored 4.4, Kraft 3.7, ConAgra 2.8, Heinz 2.7, Coca-Cola 2.6, Kellogg 2.4, General Mills 2.2, Campbell 1.9, Mars 1.6, and Hershey 1.3. 

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