Many of us have grown up consuming various food products from Nestle and other big names in the food industry such as Kellogg and Procter & Gamble. Nestle is the largest Halal food manufacturer in the world. However, we were shocked by looking at the following news story which was published in The Financial Times recently.
An internal document shared among top executives of the company said that the majority of the food products produced by Nestle were actually unhealthy for humans. More than 60% of its mainstream food and drink products were unhealthy. “Some of our categories and products will never be ‘healthy’ no matter how much we renovate”.
The document goes on to say that only 37% of its food & beverage products achieved a rating above 3.5% under Australia’s health star rating system.
This must be a wake-up call for Muslims around the world. As we have mentioned time and again that about 75% to 85% of Halal food is produced by non-Muslims and Nestle is THE largest Halal foodstuff manufacturer in the world we, the Muslims, need to rise up to the occasion and actually start producing the food we need instead of blindly consuming the provisions produced by these makers which are playing with the health of billions of Muslims and non-Muslims alike around the world.
Nestle said it was working on updating its nutrition and health strategy after the Financial Times reported an internal document as the food giant described a large portion of its food and drinks as unhealthy.
The newspaper said it had seen an internal presentation circulated among top executives in 2021 stating that more than 60% of Nestle’s mainstream food and drinks portfolio could not be considered healthy under a “recognized definition of health”.
The paper said this assessment applied to about half of Nestle’s overall portfolio because categories like medical nutrition, pet food, coffee, and infant formula were excluded from the analysis.
Kepler Cheuvreux analyst Jon Cox said that including these categories would significantly reduce the proportion of products potentially considered unhealthy.
“Given the group’s confectionery, ice cream, and pizza businesses, the real figure for the group based on 2021 estimates would be 28%, which is hardly a surprise,” he said in a note. He said the report could point to changes in the product portfolio, notably an exit from mainstream confectionary.
Nestle said in a statement it was working on a “company-wide project” to update its nutrition and health strategy and was looking at its entire portfolio to make sure its products helped meet people’s nutritional needs.
It said it had reduced sugars and sodium in its products by about 14-15% in the past seven years and would continue to make its products healthier.
What Do Nutritionists Say About These Unhealthy Practices?
According to nutritionists, although, Nestle is trying to take out as many unhealthy elements from their food products as possible. However, the strategy may not work well. There are some products that will never be healthy no matter how hard the company tries.
Lessons for the Halal Industry players
Nestle, being the largest Halal product manufacturer in the world, poses a serious challenge to Muslims and non-Muslims alike. It’s unhealthy but popular foods aren’t just bad for consumers, they may also be addictive, triggering our brains to overeat.
So, what can Halal food makers do to turn the tide? We believe that the Halal industry food makers need to do the following to unseat Nestle and other leaders in their food categories.
- Spend more on research & development to make healthy food products instead of following the leaders in their product category
- Promote healthy products not just to Muslims but to the mainstream consumers as well
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