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Nestlé reveals that just 37% of sales come from products rated as 'healthy'

Along with its 2022 Annual Report, Nestlé recently published its Creating Shared Value and Sustainability Report. Highlights include reducing greenhouse gas emissions to below the company's 2018 baseline.

In a pioneering move, the report also divulges the nutritional value of Nestlé's vast portfolio of food and beverage products, making it the first major food company to do so. To establish a nutritional profile for each product, Nestlé used the Health Star Rating (HSR) system. This front-of-package nutrition labeling framework evaluates packaged foods and beverages, assigning health ratings to enable informed choices by consumers.

Excluding Nestlé's significant pet food sales, infant nutrition, and medical nutrition products, only 37% of the company's total sales can be attributed to items rated 3.5 stars or higher. Products that fail to achieve a 3.5-star rating are not classified as healthy under the HSR system.

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In 2021, a presentation for Nestlé's leadership leaked, revealing that — and you'll recognize this number — just 37% of its food and beverage sales didn't meet a 'recognized definition of health.' In other words: the percentage of unhealthy products didn't budge in 2022.

By officially reporting the uncomfortable truth, Nestlé is setting a precedent for other global companies to follow. But poor nutrition is one of the leading causes of non-communicable diseases, and reporting isn't enough. Whether focused on sustainability, equity or public health, transparent goals need to lead to measurable action. One obvious solution? Tie those numbers to executive compensation ;-) The march towards glass box brands continues!