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Access to Nutrition Index 2018 shows overall improvement but more needs to be done

The Access to Nutrition Index (ATNI) ranks 22 of the largest food and beverage companies according to their efforts to encourage more nutritious diets worldwide. In particular by increasing consumers’ access to nutritious and affordable products and influencing consumers’ behaviour in the direction of healthy diet choices.

The recently published ATNI 2018 reveals FrieslandCampina achieved the largest improvement in score compared to 2016 and is now ranked 4th on the list. The Dutch-based dairy company demonstrates a clear focus on nutrition by implementing new strategies and systems, the index states.

Pepsico too improved its score considerably, specifically by changing its policy on accessibility and affordability of healthy products. The ranking is topped by Nestle, followed by Unilever and Danone.

Overall, the average score of all 22 companies went up from 2.5 to 3.3 on a scale of 10. Although many companies have stepped up to make an effort to encourage better diets, the ATNI concludes there is still need for substantial improvement. The index reports that, based on salt, sugar and saturated fat content, only less than a third of the 23,000 analyzed products were qualified as a healthy product. Just 14% of the products were healthy enough to be marketed to children.

To encourage companies to improve product quality and accessibility, the Access to Nutrition Foundation set out recommendations:

  • More responsibility to be taken on by senior executives and boards.
  • Set verifiable nutrition targets
  • Widen healthy, affordable products ranges
  • Implement strategies for tackling undernutrition
  • Display easy-to-interpret label information
  • Follow international codes and guidelines for marketing of breast milk substitutes and products to children

Choices International Foundation endorses the efforts of the Access to Nutrition Foundation and we are pleased to see food and beverage companies show improvement since the previous assessment in 2016.

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