Background. Unilever undertook a Foresight initiative in 2000 to decide future direction Three main thrusts were highlighted : enjoyment; vitality and quality/convenience Unilever chose Vitality as consumer showed key interest health. Other thrusts could also be included under Vitality.
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Background • Unilever undertook a Foresight initiative in 2000 to decide future direction • Three main thrusts were highlighted : enjoyment; vitality and quality/convenience • Unilever chose Vitality as consumer showed key interest health. Other thrusts could also be included under Vitality. • In 2002 Unilever set up an Obesity task force to make recommendations to the business.
Vitality is about: • Making the healthy choice the easy choice • Providing solutions for everyday life • Education – starting internally • Reviewing our own portfolio so that Unilever can be credible in the external debate. • Providing clear information about our products
Dilemma No 1 • Health variant or product reformulation?
Dilemma No 2 • We didn’t know what was in our products!
Nutrition Enhancement Programme • There were limited schemes available • Scheme needed to be global and scientifically based • Found that schemes were not easy to develop and required much testing • Had option to develop benchmarks for each category or a generic set with some exceptions.
Dilemma No 3 • We had the theory but how do we put this into practice?
Progress on NutritionEnhancement Programme In 2005 and 2006, we eliminated 30,000 tons of trans-fats, 7,000 tons of saturated fats, 37,000 tons of fat3,000 tons of sodium and17,500 tons of sugars from our portfolio
Dilemma No 4 • If/how to apply to consumer communication ?
Proliferation of health logos…. KeyholesystemSweden Pick the tick Australia/New Zealand PepsiCo United States of America Albert Heijn The Netherlands Healthier ChoiceSingapore GDA McDonald’s … is confusing consumers GDA Tesco Health Robot South Africa Multiple Traffic Light United Kingdom Sainsbury Traffic Light United Kingdom Sensible Solution Kraft
Front-of-pack labelling • International health and consumer organisations are in favour of clear and simple nutrition information. • Quantitative consumer research indicates that: • Consumers value nutrition front-of-pack (FOP) labelling information • FOP logos affect perception and usage intention positively • A single FOP logo could work across countries
The Choices qualifying criteria Original criteria Peer reviewed method [Eur J Clin Nutr 2007; 61:461-71] Based on set of 20 (inter-)national dietary guidelines Scientific Committee The Netherlands (6 members) Scientific Committee Belgium (6 members) Thorough review Choices independent criteria
Choices in action • “Ik Kies Bewust” The Netherlands • First country with Choices implemented • Joint industry initiative • Participation by retail, trade and catering • Endorsement by government, consumer organisations and key opinion formers • Within 1 year: • 65 manufacturers, retailers and catering organisations member • around 1500 products, from 81 different brands, allowed to carry the stamp
The Choices Programme Simple, Science-based & International • Worldwide programme • Involving all stakeholders • Initiated by food industry • Supported by nutritional scientists, governments, NGOs • Adopted by retail and food service • A single front-of-pack stamp • Independent qualifying criteria • Stamp supported by harmonised communication • Open initiative: multinational & SME
International governance structure Choices International Board International Scientific Committee National Board Choices The Netherlands National Board Choices Belgium National Board Choices Poland* National Board Choices … * Currently being set up
Dynamic criteria • Evaluation every 2 years to keep aligned with latest scientific insights • Move qualifying criteria even more towards dietary recommendations • Monitoring effects on consumer and producer behaviour • Transition period for implementation • Sharing expertise and experience among partners and with relevant (N)GOs and scientists International Scientific Committee Chairman: Prof. Jaap Seidell 10 Eminent food & nutrition scientists from all regions
Choices drives results June vs Jan. 13% spending increase! % of people buying Choices products Euros spent per buyer
Marketing Principles • Food and beverage advertisements should not encourage or condone excess consumption and portion sizes. • In advertisements representing meals, the foods portrayed should be shown in the context of balanced diet. • Food and beverage advertisements should not undermine the promotion of healthy, balanced diets and active lifestyle. • Food product advertisements should not undermine the role of parents and other appropriate adult role models in providing valuable dietary guidance. • These have recently been revised with a commitment not to directly market children under 6. • Also committed only market those foods that meet our nutrition enhancement programme between 6 to 12.
Dilemma No 5 • Collaboration when FOP labelling policy debate rages on?
Current Situation Healthy Food Code of Practice Nutrient Profile FoP 2 Different FSA Nutrient Profiles Advertising Nutrition - one of which is under review To Children Labelling - Limited food categories Not currently covered by Nutrient Profiles, Nutrition Reformulation but rules and targets in place Claims This results in : - Inconsistency in overall policy approach (looks dis - jointed) - A debate focussed on contentious issues and not overall benefits - Low levels in trust and poor levels of consensus - Minimal input of industry expertise - A complex range of targets/assessments for industry to deal with
Conclusion • Food industry like Unilever has a role to play in engaging with society at all levels to improve diet and public health. • We can provide clear nutrition information and education about our products. • We can improve the nutrition composition for many of our products as well as innovating new products. • We can engage people at work. • But we need a constructive and co-operative framework in order to find correct solutions. “Health is everyone’s business” Prof. Geoffrey Rose
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