More Than Half Of Nestlé Products Do Not Meet A ‘Recognised Definition Of Health’

by : Hannah Smith on : 31 May 2021 16:40
More Than Half Of Nestlé Products Do Not Meet A 'Recognised Definition Of Health'PA Images

More than 60% of Nestlé’s food products are unhealthy, according to leaked internal documents that see the company admit the majority of its products don’t meet a ‘recognised definition of health.’

The world’s largest food manufacturer revealed only 37% of its food and beverage portfolio scored at least a 3.5 score under Australia’s health star rating system – an index recognised internationally by nutritionists and food health researchers.


What’s more, in the leaked presentation top Nestlé executives were warned some of their products ‘will never be ‘healthy’ no matter how much we renovate.’

More than 60% of Nestle products are unhealthy (PA Images)PA Images

It won’t surprise many people to hear the makers of KitKats, Yorkie bars and Smarties aren’t at the forefront of healthy living, but it’s still pretty stark to learn that as much as two-thirds of the company’s products, which include Maggi noodles, Nescafe and Nespresso, don’t meet certain standards.

According to the documents, which were obtained by the Financial Times, 70% of Nestlé’s food products achieved fewer than 3.5 stars, while only 4% of their beverages gained a ‘healthy score’. Unsurprisingly, 99% of the company’s confectionary and ice cream products scored lower than 3.5.


Among the worst performing individual products were Hot Pockets’ pepperoni pizza, which contains almost half the recommended daily allowance of sodium, and orange San Pellegrino, which scored the lowest possible rating under a different health scoring system.

The presentation continues:

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.

Nestle said it would continue to make it's products 'healthier and tastier' (PA Images)PA Images

The extent of Nestlé’s health issues is particularly striking for a company that in 2018 came top of a list of the world’s largest food companies working to ‘encourage better diets’ by the Access To Nutrition Foundation.

The leak comes as the company reportedly prepares to launch fresh commitments on nutrition as part of a global push to promote healthy eating and tackle growing rates of obesity.

In a statement, Nestlé said:

In recent years, we have launched thousands of products for kids and families that meet external nutrition yardsticks. We have also distributed billions of micronutrient doses via our affordable and nutritious products.

We believe that a healthy diet means finding a balance between wellbeing and enjoyment. This includes having some space for indulgent foods, consumed in moderation.


They added: ‘Our direction of travel has not changed and is clear: we will continue to make our portfolio tastier and healthier.’

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Financial Times
  1. Financial Times

    Nestlé document says majority of its food portfolio is unhealthy