Big Steps

Published in CSP Daily News

Nestle expands U.S. nutrition, health and wellness footprint

NEW YORK -- Food and beverage company Nestle has reported significant progress in the areas of nutrition, health and wellness (NHW) in the United States during 2011. Over the past year, it has introduced and expanded new NHW initiatives, announced several partnerships with leading industry organizations, and launched multiple campaigns to increase nutrition awareness and help combat obesity.

"As a core component of Nestle's Good Food, Good Life business philosophy, we are continually working to improve both the quality and quantity of nutritious and delicious products that can be enjoyed by every member of the family and for every way of life," said Chris Johnson, Nestle's zone director for the United States, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean.

"With obesity rates on the rise, especially among younger Americans, Nestle recognizes that maintaining a healthy lifestyle requires making smart choices. At Nestle, we strive to offer healthier food and beverage alternatives, while also providing solutions for portion control. We have introduced specific product improvements focused on adding healthier ingredients like whole grains, while also reducing sodium, fat and sugar in many of our products," he added.

Highlights of key NHW efforts carried out by Nestle in the United States during 2011 include:

Healthy Steps for Healthy Lives Initiative

  • Nestle announced its partnership with the National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional educator's organization, to expand nutrition and physical activity resources for teachers.
  • Healthy Steps for Healthy Lives provides a variety of fun, easy-to-use instructional activities that teach K-3 students about being healthy, while also offering materials that can be used by parents, afterschool programs and caregivers.
  • It is part of the Nestle Healthy Kids Global Program, a larger global commitment by Nestle to create shared value through nutrition, health and wellness awareness among school-age children.

Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation

  • Nestle joined the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, a national industry effort designed to help reduce obesity, particularly among children, by 2015. As part of this program, Nestle has committed to improving the nutritional density of its products by featuring fruits and vegetables, whole grains, calcium, Omega-3s and antioxidants where it makes sense.
  • Nestle is also helping its own employees achieve and maintain a healthy weight by offering them weight loss management, programs to help stop smoking and on-site health screenings.

Nestle Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study

  • The landmark Nestle Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study (FITS) was the result of a collaborative effort between Nestle researchers, Mathematica Policy Research and expert scientific advisors from several different universities. FITS is the largest and most comprehensive population-based study assessing the diets of young children in the United States. It provided insights about the evolution of children's diets from birth through pre-school, including sources of calories, key nutrients and snacking patterns. It also emphasized the importance of establishing good habits when children are young, and offered guidelines for parents on how to make a big impact through relatively simple dietary changes.

Nestle Pure Life Hydration Movement

  • Nestle Pure Life launched the Hydration Movement, an online pledge to educate consumers and families about healthy hydration. An extension of last year's pledge, this initiative emphasizes the importance of staying hydrated by illustrating its direct link to a person's health and well-being. An interactive website engages consumers and encourages participation through its collection of statistics and relevant articles about healthy hydration for both children and adults. In addition, it features tips on weight management, various coupons offerings and contest submission opportunities. Thousands of families have already pledged to lead a healthier lifestyle by swapping one sugared beverage per day with water.

Nestle Nutrition Institute: Reclaiming the Family Meal

  • The American Dietetic Association (ADA) held its annual Food & Nutrition Conference in September 2011, attracting more than 6,000 dietitians, nutritionists and health professionals. During the ADA conference, the Nestle Nutrition Institute (NNI) organized a satellite symposium on the theme: "The Family Meal: Reclaiming the Dinner Table." It explored this complex issue from all angles--including social epidemiology, the history of dining together in the United States and innovative culinary techniques and practice.
  • The NNI is the world's largest private publisher of nutritional information. The interactive NNI website now has more than 110,000 registered users, who can access a vast medical and scientific library, as well as various educational materials and e-learning tools.

New Product Innovations

  • Nestle is strongly committed to innovation through product development, and is constantly coming up with new ways to offer healthier, alternatives that still taste great. Nestle products are developed by the world's largest private nutrition R&D network, comprising of 29 R&D centers and more than 5,000 employees worldwide.
  • Skinny Cow Candy: Nestle extended its popular Skinny Cow low-fat ice cream treat brand into a new range of low-calorie candy snacks. Skinny Cow Confections deliver significantly lower levels of calories, total and saturated fat and added sugar than similar regular chocolate confections while still serving up satisfying portion sizes.
  • Stouffer's Farmers' Harvest: Stouffer's launched its new Farmer's Harvest products featuring whole grains and increased vegetable servings, with a focus on adding high-quality ingredients like sea salt, olive oil and real cheese.
  • Nestle Coffee-Mate Natural Bliss: Nestle introduced the first all-natural flavored coffee creamer, which is made of only milk, cream, sugar and natural flavor. The flavor range includes vanilla, caramel and sweet cream.
  • Frosty Paws: Nestle Purina developed a new line of frozen treats for dogs that are fortified with proteins, vitamins and minerals and contain no added sodium, sugar, artificial favors or coloring.

Consumer Education

  • Nestle has made a wide range of nutrition and health information even easier to access through more comprehensive labeling, additional tools and expanded websites. Nestle enhanced its Nutritional Compass system to help consumers make more informed choices about a healthy balanced diet and lifestyle. The Nutritional Compass, now found on 97% of Nestle packages worldwide, is designed to be a clear, transparent labeling guide that goes beyond listing figures to help consumers choose healthier and better tasting products.
  • Nestle's Fit Harvest Program provides members with the latest nutrition, health and wellness information. It also offers up-to-the minute tips, trends and chef-created recipes (using Nestle Professional, the company's food away from home business, products such as Minor's and Lean Cuisine) based on established nutritional guidelines.
  • Purina Veterinary Diets has developed Project Pet Slim Down, a program that is bringing pet owners and veterinary professionals together to fight the growing problem of pet obesity in America. The website provides educational materials and on-line tools that help pet owners and veterinary professionals work together to achieve healthy pet weight loss.

Nestle in the United States consists of five main businesses: Nestle USA, Nestle Purina PetCare Co., Nestle Waters North America, Nestle Nutrition and Nestle Professional. Together, these companies operate in more than 120 locations across 47 states and employ more than 51,000 people. The United States is Nestle SA's largest market with combined product sales in the United States totaling more than $27 billion in 2010. Key brands include Lean Cuisine, Nestle Toll House, Powerbar, Nestle Pure Life, Poland Spring, Gerber and Purina One.