Access to adequate food and a nutritious diet is a fundamental human right. Yet it is estimated that 840 million people regularly go to bed hungry and three billion cannot afford a healthy, nutritious diet.
Against the backdrop of a growing world population, expected to reach 10 billion people by 2050, the problem will continue to be a challenge.
We are helping tackle hunger and malnutrition and working hard to eradicate conditions such as anemia and wasting, particularly in vulnerable populations. We focus our efforts on product innovation, by creating affordable staples fortified with micronutrients and by spreading practical tips on nutrition. We are acutely conscious that alleviating these issues must not come at the expense of the planet.
Tackling malnutrition for generations to come
Creating affordable nutrition through innovation
More than half of the global population survives on between USD 2-10 per day, so part of our research and development work is focused on creating affordable products fortified with micronutrients. As nutritional deficiencies can vary geographically, reflecting different eating habits, historical, cultural and religious factors and socio-economic circumstances, it’s vital we make sure such nutrients are locally relevant.
Another important aspect is closing the 'protein gap' – this refers to demand for protein that outstrips supply or where what is available is unaffordable to local communities. We are helping by engaging our scientists to adjust processes and recipes and by using local raw materials to develop innovative products using more affordable, plant-based proteins.
Convening international experts to transform access to food
In 2021, in collaboration with Tufts University in America, we convened a UN Food Systems Summit Dialogue to explore key questions around the transition to a regenerative food system while fulfilling the human right to food. The dialogue involved 57 participants from academia, non-governmental organizations, the private sector and multilateral organizations. It addressed the major barriers to making healthy diets affordable, accessible and adequate for everyone.
Tackling local nutritional challenges in Southeast Africa
Nestlé Cerevita Instant Sour Porridge was specially created for Southeast African consumers and launched in Zimbabwe in 2020. Made with locally sourced and sustainable whole grains and cereals, and fortified with key vitamins, fiber and protein, it also cost about 20% to 25% less than similar locally available products at its launch. It is the result of a collaboration between scientists at Nestlé’s Research and Development Center in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, and teams from Southeast African markets.
Helping children lead healthier lives
Nestlé for Healthier Kids seeks to spread awareness of healthy eating globally. It is focused on combating malnutrition but also highlights the risks of being overweight and the chronic conditions that can stem from obesity. Its research reveals that children in China only consume 16% of the recommended amount of dairy; 30% of children in Russia do not eat vegetables daily; and 16% of children in the U.S. skip lunch and miss out on precious vitamins and minerals.
A global network of research and development scientists
Our R&D network comprises 23 locations worldwide and sees our scientists collaborate with leading universities and start-ups to help create more affordable and sustainable nutrition. Our R&D Center for affordable nutrition in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, plays a key role in creating foods that target the needs of vulnerable populations in sub-Saharan Africa – specifically Côte d'Ivoire, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa. It boasts food technologists, scientists, and engineers who specialize in innovation around cereals, dairy, snacks and drinks.