Promoting good nutrition and healthier products has been in Nestlé’s DNA from the beginning. As a global company with operations in many countries where under-nutrition is a problem, Nestlé wants to make a positive difference through the products we offer.
We’re adding strength to our products
The private sector is a key player in the production of food that is nutritious, affordable and sustainable. Companies support the need for improved nutrition. They are ready to listen, learn and share expertise in order to develop the appropriate collective actions.
Strong, comprehensive and science-based nutrition policies can support the fight against many diseases and promote good health. The general population can be offered better food choices through dietary guidelines by public health authorities, national nutrition policies and product benchmarks.
More specifically, the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization believe micronutrient fortification (pdf, 3Mb) should be included in national nutrition plans where there are deficiencies. Nestlé supports this approach, while acknowledging that fortification strategies should be government-led and include relevant indicators and ways to measure progress.
Micronutrient fortification such as iron, vitamin A, iodine, vitamin D and zinc are vital for health and wellness at all stages of life and is a particular concern for teenage girls and women of childbearing age because of the health impact it can have on their babies.
We want to make a positive difference through the products we offer.
Supporting public health by changing our products
While food can be improved by adding certain nutrients, there is also ongoing work to lower health-sensitive nutrients such as salt, sugar and fat in foods and beverages.
This is important especially for trans fatty acids, which are linked to coronary heart disease. Both the European Commission and the World Health Organization are currently considering how best to limit the intake of industrial trans fatty acids after public consultations on the matter. Nestlé and the International Food and Beverage Alliance (pdf, 353Kb) support a legal limit (pdf, 1Mb) for industrial trans fatty acids.
Reducing other health-sensitive nutrients such as salt, sugars or saturated fat is also necessary and should be science-based and take into account the technical and processing limitations.
For example, trans fats should not just be replaced with saturated fats, but rather with unsaturated fats such as high oleic oils, and sugar should not just be replaced with harmful lipids.
Strong recommendations from global bodies and clearly defined national and regional policies are therefore beneficial to the industry as a whole, ensuring a level playing field which allows companies to compete using the nutritional qualities of their products in addition to price and taste.
The bigger picture
Nutrient profiles are another way of establishing fair competition. These help to ensure that companies are putting genuinely healthier products on the market.
Consumer taste, needs and expectations are also fundamental to the success of reformulated products. To this end, information and education campaigns are required to move consumers to choose healthier options.
The private sector can also innovate to make sure the healthier products are culturally acceptable and appealing, and that innovation stimulates business growth.
Finally, it is important to develop a holistic approach. Good nutrition can only be achieved through action in other areas such as sanitation, agriculture and family planning.
Working together – and using a mix of regulation, self-regulation and coordinated national measures – moves us one step closer to achieving Goal 2 of the UN SDGs, to eliminate hunger and improve nutrition, as well as Goal 3, to ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages. These are goals that Nestlé wholeheartedly supports. Read more about how we’re contributing to the global goals.