Further decrease sugars, sodium and saturated fat
Reducing sugars, sodium and fat
Diets with lower sugar, sodium and saturated fat are usually healthier – and we want to make it easier for families to choose the healthier options.
Why it matters
Overconsumption of sugars, sodium and saturated fat can contribute to dietary and health problems, and to increases in obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Reducing consumption of these nutrients can contribute to improving public health, so we are undertaking complex reformulations of our foods and beverages to be part of the solution. We do this carefully, ensuring that these changes don’t affect the taste or texture of our products, which may cause consumers to switch to less healthy alternatives.
To have the biggest impact, we identify and focus on the foods and beverages that contribute most to people’s nutrient intake. We make changes holistically – we won’t replace one nutrient of concern with another, we won’t compromise on taste and we’re open about the challenges as well as the improvements. We are also exploring exciting new technologies that improve nutrient profiles without compromising on taste.
What we are doing
We are launching innovations such as new sugars structures to ensure we get as close as possible to our commitment targets.
Reduce the sugars we add in our foods and beverages by 5% to support individuals and families in meeting global recommendations.
Our result: 0.8% of sugar removed from our foods and beverages*.
Complete the 10% commitment taken in 2014, to reduce saturated fat by 10% in all relevant products that do not meet the Nestlé Nutritional Foundation (NF) criteria with respect to saturated fat.
Our result: We have achieved 7% of this objective and we are working on the remaining 3% gap*.
* These results apply to products within the scope of our commitment, not to our global product range as many of our products already meet recommended levels.
Reducing daily sugars intake
In both adults and children, WHO recommends reducing the daily intake of free sugars to less than 5% of total energy intake (conditional recommendation). Currently, around 45% of our foods and beverages provide less than 5% sugars (added), enabling consumers to use those products while meeting the WHO’s strict conditional recommendation. Of the 55% remaining, 45% are in scope of our sugars commitment and 10% are not relevant as their sugars content is regulated, for example as per CODEX. We’re committed to reducing the sugars in the products in scope by an average of 5% by the end of 2020, while retaining the tastes consumers enjoy. To date, we have already implemented a 0.8% reduction, equivalent to around 10 000 tonnes of sugar.
Cutting saturated fat in our Asian noodles
We embarked on a project to cut saturated fats from our popular Asian noodles and our teams have achieved significant progress. The first step was to identify a commercially available and locally produced oil, which was nutritionally superior to and more viable than the oil we had previously selected. Whilst running technical assessment and shelf-life studies required to change to the new locally produced oil, we have already taken the first step in 2018, by optimizing the manufacturing process the oil content has been reduced by 12%–16% per serving. We launched these updated products in 2018. With the successful acceptance of switching to the locally produced nutritionally superior oil, (containing 80% less saturated fat), the saturated fats content will be further reduced. The plan is to start implementing this in 2019, with a goal of completion throughout all recipes by the end of 2020.
This has been possible thanks to a cross-functional team approach involving Commercial, Application Group, Procurement, R&D and the Food Strategic Business Unit.
Among other key initiatives in saturated fat reduction, the R&D team has also developed a new technology for Coffee Mixes, enabling the reduction of saturated fat by as much as 60%, while maintaining the great smoothness and taste. This is one of the key technologies that will allow these products to attain the Malaysian Healthier Choice logo, with launch planned in 2019.
Cutting sugars in our cocoa and malt beverage products
Reducing sugars in emblematic products like Milo, Nesquik and Nescau is an important part of our sugars reduction strategy. Our approach is the following:
- We are launching a new natural-based Nesquik alternative, answering demand for options with less sugars and more natural ingredients in recognized brands. The sweetness of the alternative is lower than the mainstream product.
- Our R&D team is pioneering proprietary technology that will enable us to increase fiber while reducing sugars and maintaining the same great taste. This technology has been successfully piloted with Milo and we plan to implement it fully before the end of 2020.
- We are improving the nutrition credentials of Nescau by introducing new variants, like Max Cereal without added sucrose, to contribute to a healthier taste preference among consumers.
- We are also introducing new Milo ready-to-drink products with various sugar and no-added sugar options. We launched these new Milo products in Thailand and Chile in 2018 and will do so in other markets from 2019.
To illustrate our commitment to provide healthier and tastier choices to consumers, Nestlé Indonesia launched an improved version of Milo in October 2018, reformulating the mainstream version with 25% less sugar. In Singapore, we introduced the first Milo powder with no added table sugar or artificial or natural sweeteners, just more natural goodness from malt and milk.
Progressing within our sodium reduction journey
In 2017, we reported on sodium reduction in Senegal. This has now been deployed to Côte d’Ivoire – with a reduction of around 1000 tonnes of salt – and we’re planning to roll it out in Nigeria.
As part of Maggi’s journey to offer tastier and healthier products in the Middle East, we’ve been continuously reducing sodium in a step-by-step approach across our portfolio. We are also focused on removing unfamiliar ingredients and including more of those consumers know and love, particularly items valued for their intrinsic goodness such as grains, vegetables, nuts and seeds. These are what we call ‘kitchen cupboard’ ingredients. One example is our Maggi 11 Vegetables Soup, where we reduced the sodium content by 25% to support WHO guidelines, which recommend consuming no more than 5 g of salt per day. We also increased the vegetable content per bowl; while including only familiar ingredients found in everybody’s kitchen cupboard.
Nestlé and business partners working together
Our partners are also demonstrating their commitment to tastier and healthier choices. For example, Lactalis Nestlé Produits Frais has a plan to deliver toward Nestlé objectives on sugars and saturated fat reduction by the end of 2020.