The Swiss food and beverage multinational Nestlé acknowledged that more than 60% of its main products are unhealthy and that some of them never will be.
In a presentation between executives of the company to which the British newspaper had access Financial Times, it was revealed that only 37% of Nestlé’s food and beverages, excluding products such as pet food and specialty medical nutrition, have a rating above 3.5, according to the Australian Health Star System.
This system rates food among five stars and is used in research by international groups. Nestlé describes the 3.5-star threshold as a “recognized definition of health.”
Within its global food and beverage portfolio, around 70% of Nestlé’s food products did not meet that threshold, according to the presentation obtained by the Financial Times, together with the 96% of drinks -excluding pure coffee- and 99% of the portfolio of sweet and ice cream products.
Water and dairy products performed better: 82% of waters and 60% of dairy products reached the threshold.
“We have made significant improvements to our products, but our portfolio continues to be inferior to external definitions of health in a panorama in which regulatory pressure and consumer demands are skyrocketing, ”the presentation said.
Data does not include baby formula, pet food, coffee, and health sciences division, which makes food for people with specific medical conditions. This means that they represent about half of Nestlé’s total annual revenue, which amounts to 92.6 billion Swiss francs ($ 102 billion).
The results are known at a time when food producers are faced with a global push to fight obesity and promote healthier eating. Nestlé executives are studying what new commitments to make on nutrition, according to the Financial Times.
The company is also updating its internal nutrition standards, known as Nestlé Nutritional Foundation, which were introduced under the mandate of the former CEO, Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, who named Nestlé as a “Nutrition, health and wellness company”.
One of the options could be to abandon or replace these standards for products considered as candy, according to a person familiar with the matter who had access to the Financial Times.
The CEO of Nestlé, Mark Schneider, admitted that consumers are looking for a healthier diet, but He rejected that “processed” foods, including those manufactured by his company, are harmful to health, according to the British newspaper.