Unilever says the company will publicly report the performance of its product portfolio against at least six different government-endorsed Nutrient Profile Models (NPM) as well as its own Highest Nutritional Standards (HNS).
The company will publish the assessment on an annual basis both globally and for 16 key strategic markets and will report its performance both by volume of product and by sales revenue. Its first report will be published by October 2022.
The move comes following extensive engagement with ShareAction and the Healthy Markets Initiative.
The minimum of six, government-endorsed NPMs will represent a range of methods used by different countries:
• High Fat Salt Sugar (HFSS) used in the UK, NutriScore used in Europe, and the Health Star Rating, used in Australia & New Zealand.
• Front of Pack logos, used in Chile.
• Healthy Choice logos, used in Singapore, and Choices International.
The 16 markets in which the global portfolio will be assessed against NPMs are: the United States, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, France, DACH (Germany, Austria, Switzerland), UK & Ireland, Brazil, Mexico, Russia, Turkey, South Africa, Indonesia, India, China and Australia. In total, the assessment will cover about 25,000 individual product items.
Unilever will also continue to set stretching nutrition targets for its portfolio, as part of its ‘Future Foods’ commitments, which were published at the end of 2020. This includes timebound targets for plant-based sales, reduction of salt, sugar and calories, and increasing the sales of healthier ‘positive nutrition’ products.
The company will update and strengthen its specific targets that expire at the end of 2022 and will consider both HNS and at least six different NPMs to determine which is the most stretching target benchmark to increase sales of healthier products. Hanneke Faber, Unilever’s President of Foods & Refreshment, said: “We welcome the constructive dialogue we have had with ShareAction and the Healthy Markets Initiative. We share a common belief in the importance of having an ambitious long-term strategy for nutrition and health, and that companies should publish ambitious targets to deliver against. I am confident that with these new initiatives, we will set a new benchmark for nutrition transparency in our industry and accelerate our positive impact on public health.”
Catherine Howarth, CEO of ShareAction said: “A food manufacturer as large as Unilever has the power to improve the health of millions of people across the world. Responsible investors are challenging such companies to step up. We welcome Unilever’s new commitments. The transparency promised sets a new standard for the industry. We hope and expect
that others will follow.”