SWITZERLAND – Nestlé, the world’s largest food and beverage company, has emerged the first in the 2021 global Access to Nutrition Index (ATNI), achieving a score of 6.7 out of the possible 10. 

The Index assesses, after every three years, the world’s largest global food and beverage manufactures and their contributions to addressing malnutrition.   

In 2021, Twenty-five leading F&B manufacturers were included and assessed on their commitments, practices, and disclosure – with regards to governance and management; the production and distribution of healthy, affordable, accessible products; and how they influence consumer choices and behavior. 

This is the second time in a row that the Swiss-based food giant is topping the ATNI index, having ranked number one position in the last Global Access to Nutrition Index which was released in 2018.   

According to ATNI, Nestlé emerged top for demonstrating the most comprehensive nutrition strategies, management systems, and reporting among the companies assessed.  

Nestlé was also recognized as one of three companies that have conducted a strategic review in the last three years on commercial opportunities available to address the specific needs of people experiencing, or at high risk of, any form of malnutrition. 

The Swiss food manufacturer was also commended as one of the companies that had the most comprehensive approaches to pricing and distribution, including products designed to address micronutrient deficiencies. 

This according to ATNI improved accessibility and affordability of the company’s healthy products, thus helping tackle issues of malnutrition. 

“We are pleased to be recognized as one of the leaders in health and nutrition who are addressing the pressing issues of malnutrition,” says Saint-Francis Tohlang, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Director at Nestlé East and Southern Africa Region (ESAR).

“As Nestlé, we will continue to leverage our industry-leading innovations to promote health and wellness through our food portfolio.”

Nestle’s recognition follows a recent internal report showing that 60 percent of its mainstream foods and drinks do not ‘meet a recognized definition of health’. 

In the report, Nestlé executives are reported to have acknowledged that some of their products will never be healthy. 

Nestlé, however, responded by saying that the document was reported out of context adding that less than 30 percent do not meet stringent healthfulness standards. 

The company remained firm on its commitment towards providing healthy and nutritious foods adding that it had reduced sugars and sodium in its product by about 14-15 percent in the past seven years.  

It once again retreated its commitment towards its nutrition and health strategy, promising to continue to make its products healthier. 

Liked this article? Subscribe to Food Business Africa News, our regular email newsletters with the latest news insights from Africa and the World’s food and agro industry. SUBSCRIBE HERE