In an internal presentation, food and beverage company Nestle said that over 60% of its products are considered “unhealthy” using the Australian health start rating system.
The report, which was published in the Financial Times, says that just 37% of the company’s food and drinks meet the internationally recognized health standard.
This means that the remaining 63% don’t meet the health standards set out, which would require the product to have a rating of at least 3.5 out of 5.
Overall, 96% of Nestle’s beverages don’t qualify as healthy, with the only exception being pure coffee. Of the food products, 70% don’t meet the standards in the rating system. Additionally, 99% of ice cream and confectionery products don’t meet this standard.
However, Nestle says it’s filling a gap in the market, and “confectionery and chocolate address a deep human need and are going to be here to stay.”
“Some of our categories and products will never be ‘healthy’ no matter how much we renovate,” the company said in the presentation.
A spokesperson from Nestle also noted that these types of point systems don’t always show the full picture. They added that the company would focus on improving its nutrition strategy in the coming years, but it won’t be using Australia’s Health Star Rating and Nutri-Score.
“About half of our sales are not covered by these systems,” the spokesperson said. “That includes categories such as infant nutrition, specialized health products, and pet food, which follow regulated nutrition standards.”
In addition to this, Nestle says that in the last two decades, it has made “significant improvements” to its products overall. For example, it has cut the amount of sugar and sodium in its products by around 15% in the last seven years alone.
However, its portfolio still “underperforms against external definitions of health in a landscape where regulatory pressure and consumer demands are skyrocketing,” the company’s presentation noted.
“We believe that a healthy diet means finding a balance between well-being and enjoyment. This includes having some space for indulgent foods consumed in moderation. Our direction of travel has not changed and is clear: we will continue to make our portfolio tastier and healthier,” the spokesperson said.