Recent media stories have questioned the healthfulness of Nestlé products in Brazil. We believe our wide portfolio positively contributes to the health and wellness of the communities we serve.
We know malnutrition, in all its forms (both over and under nutrition) is a serious global challenge, with multiple causes. There is still more to do. And the scale and reach of our company allows us to offer a meaningful contribution and accelerate positive change.
What kind of foods and beverages does Nestlé sell in Brazil?
We sell a wide variety of products, ranging from wholegrain cereals, low fat yogurts and fortified products like Mucilon. These and other products are enriched with vitamin A, iron and zinc – the three major nutritional deficiencies in Brazil. We also sell indulgent products, like biscuits and confectionery, which are intended to be enjoyed as occasional treats.
What are you doing to improve the nutritional value of your products?
In Brazil, we continue to improve the nutritional value of our foods and beverages to support good health, while reducing ingredients like sugar and salt. Over the last 3 years, we have removed more than 350 tons of sodium, 5 000 tons of saturated fats and 6 900 tons of sugar from the products we sell in the country.
Whole grain is the first ingredient listed across our cereal portfolio. Powdered and liquid milk brands such as Ninho (Nido), are fortified to address vitamin and mineral deficiencies in the diets of Brazilian children (vitamins A, C, D, calcium, iron and zinc). In our best-selling biscuit brand Passatempo, sugar has been reduced by 15%, total fat reduced by 23% and saturated fat by 51% along the years.
In the last 2 years, we’ve invested in plant based & organic innovations for kids. Organic milk powder & plant based (Nido), organic baby foods (Naturnes) and organic milk based beverages (Nescau). For the new plant-based portifolio, we look at the specific nutritional needs to help these consumers balance their diets.
Why did Nestlé launch the floating supermarket?
The Nestlé Até Você a Bordo boat program, launched in 2010, aimed to broaden access to food and drink to remote communities in the North of Brazil using a common means of transport in that region. It also promoted social development projects, like access to professional courses and training for young people to promote income generation. The boat program ended in 2017, but Nestlé Brazil continues to work with a variety of local stakeholders to help millions of children learn about health and nutrition.
What is Nestlé doing to restrict its marketing of products high in salt, sugar and fat to children?
Nestlé follows strict standards regarding advertising and marketing to children. Nestlé does not advertise to children under six years of age.
Recently we strengthened our Policy on Marketing Communication to Children (pdf, 5Mb). We introduced stricter nutritional criteria for foods and beverages marketed to children age six through 12 (e.g. we do not market confectionery, biscuits, or ice cream to children). We ensure foods and beverages sold in schools meet strict nutrition criteria.
In Brazil, in 2009 Nestlé pledged to 'Responsible Marketing to Children', a policy that was updated in 2016 to establish common nutrition criteria, based on the EU Pledge 'Nutrition Criteria', and a monitoring process by an independent auditor.
We also abide by external marketing pledges including International Food and Beverage Alliance (IFBA) commitments, the EU Pledge, and local pledges.
What is Nestlé doing to tackle obesity?
Obesity is a serious global challenge, and for more than a decade Nestlé has taken serious action to tackle the problem and contribute to solutions – working with public health organizations, governments and other stakeholders.
We want to inspire people, especially children, to eat a balanced diet and live healthier lives.
In Brazil, Nutrir has reached 3 million children since 1999. It is part of the Nestlé for Healthier Kids Global Program, which reached over 33 million children worldwide in 2020. Nestlé for Healthier Kids raises nutrition and health knowledge and promotes physical activity among school-age children around the world.
When you market foods in Brazil and other developing economies, you say your aim is to improve people's dietary habits. Does this make a positive contribution to society?
Nestlé cares deeply about local food traditions, brands, cooking practices and culinary heritage. Some of our most popular brands in a market are the local 'family' brands that Nestlé has been fortunate enough to acquire and call part of our global portfolio.
A brand like Maggi is a very good example of how culinary seasoning can support cooking skills and local recipes, encourage the consumption of local vegetables and protein and deliver important nutrients that otherwise might not be consumed.
From Brazil to Germany, India and beyond, Maggi is part of the fabric of many local culinary traditions.
Many food categories like yogurts, milk, cereals and coffee, and even confectionary and ice cream, available in Brazil, are supplements to a complete diet. These foods do not replace traditions or local food customs.
How do Nestlé products rank on external nutrition profiling systems?
Nestlé recognizes the importance of labeling standards that contribute to the clarity of information and education for consumers, providing them with data to make conscious choices about their food. In Brazil, the company followed the process that led to the decision for the current labeling model. The new standard was defined by Anvisa in a collaborative, democratic, and robust process. It included over six years of work and research, and also involved public consultation with more than 82 000 participants. As a result, we can trust that the proposed model is the most responsible and appropriate, and takes into account the consumer's right of choice. Nestlé's positioning of collaboration and adaptation to the new standard, in addition to contributing to consumer information about the new model, is part of our commitment to work with all stakeholders for a healthier and more sustainable food system, with a focus on reformulating the product (including fortification), nutrition education, transparent labeling and serving orientation.