Nestlé says 60% of its brands are unhealthy despite cutting salt and sugar levels
- The food giant made the confession despite its slogan ‘Good Food, Good Life’
- It came in a presentation distributed to senior executives at Nestlé
- Most of its mainstream products don’t meet a ‘recognized definition of health’
- The company admitted that “some of our products will never be ‘healthy’, no matter how much we renovate”
Nestlé has personally accepted that more than 60 percent of its 2,000 products are not healthy and some never will be.
The food giant’s recognition behind well-known brands like KitKat, Nesquik, Quality Street and Cheerios comes despite the adoption of the slogan “Good Food, Good Life.”
A presentation distributed to senior executives acknowledged that most of its mainstream products do not meet a “recognized definition of health.”
The company has cut sugar and salt levels, but admits that “some of our products will never be ‘healthy’ no matter how much we renovate.”
The presentation found that only 37 percent of food and drink per sale, excluding animal feed and specialty medical nutrition, achieved a score of more than 3.5 under the Australian health rating system.
This threshold is a ‘recognised definition of health’. In the UK, a number of best-selling Nestlé products have a red rating for sugar, salt and fat according to the Food Standards Agency’s traffic light system.
Nestlé has personally accepted that more than 60 percent of its 2,000 products are not healthy and some never will be [Stock image]
The revelations could put pressure on Nestlé as food watchdogs in the UK and around the world impose stricter restrictions on marketing.
A tax on high-sugar drinks in the UK prompted makers to cut levels drastically. Now activists are lobbying for similar action on sugary foods and snacks.
The presentation, unveiled by The Financial Times, highlighted products such as Nesquik that have very high sugar content. For example, a glass of his chocolate drink contains 16.5 g of sugar – equal to four teaspoons.
The presentation stated: ‘We have made significant improvements to our products… [but] our portfolio still underperforms against external definitions of health in a landscape where regulatory pressure and consumer demands are skyrocketing.’
There is 20g of sugar in a standard four-finger Kitkat, which is equivalent to almost five teaspoons of sugar, and 11g of sugar in a 40g bowl of Coco Shreddies.
Nestlé, based in Switzerland, is updating its internal nutritional standards as part of a broader move to define itself as a ‘nutrition, health and wellness company’.
It said it is “working on a company-wide project to update its groundbreaking nutrition and health strategy.”
Chief executive, Mark Schneider, has acknowledged that consumers want healthier diets, but rejected claims that “processed” foods, including those from Nestlé and other multinationals, are often unhealthy.
A spokesperson said: ‘We look at our entire portfolio across people’s life stages to ensure our products help meet their nutritional needs and support a balanced diet.
“Our efforts build on a strong foundation of work over decades… For example, we have significantly reduced the sugars and sodium in our products over the past two decades, by about 14-15 percent in the last seven years alone.”
Nestlé, based in Switzerland, updates its internal nutritional standards as part of a broader move to define itself as a ‘nutrition, health and wellness company’ [Stock image]