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We have set the standard for nutrition transparency

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Calling for a globally-aligned approach to Nutrient Profiling Models

We have set the standard for nutrition transparency

We are continuously improving the nutritional quality of our products at Unilever in support of the vital shift the world needs to make to more nutritious and sustainable diets, ensuring a better food system for people and planet. We have set clear goals and report the progress of our food and beverage portfolio annually. We are making solid progress towards these. The NPM we developed to reduce salt, sugar, saturated fats and calories, is known as Unilever’s Science based Nutrition Criteria (USNC) and is based on global World Health Organisation dietary guidance. USNC is a rigorous and effective NPM for our portfolio to drive product development.

Not one measure of healthiness

There are currently many NPMs in use across the globe for different purposes such as Front-of Pack labelling and marketing restrictions. Each uses different methodologies to assess the nutritional profile of food products and often arrive at different conclusions about the so-called “healthiness” of the same product, which can be confusing.

We want to drive the debate that “healthiness” scores using one NPM only need to be treated with caution. This was the main reason why we decided to disclose our portfolio against six externally-endorsed NPMs, globally and for our top 16 markets based on both volume and value sales, along with our own NPM. Our Diet & Health Team, based at the Unilever Foods Innovation Centre (or Hive as it’s affectionately known) in the Netherlands, and our Digital & Data team in R&D are driving this work.

The six externally-endorsed NPMs are: High Fat Sugar Salt (HFSS), NutriScore, Health Star Rating, Chile warning logo, Choices 5 level criteria and Healthy Choice Symbol Singapore. Read more about the outcome of the assessment and the characteristics of the different NPMs here (PDF 226.95 KB).

Future steps

There is currently no globally aligned approach to setting a harmonised “healthiness” score for food and beverage products. We are calling on the industry and stakeholders to work together to create an industry-wide approach for measuring “healthiness” of portfolios that every company in the food industry can use to incentivise reformulation at scale and enhance the positive impact on public health.

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