We recently published our latest edition of the Health & Wellness Progress Report that outlines how CGF members are moving towards implementation of our Resolutions and Commitments.

For example, the data covered in our 2016-member survey shows that:

  • 180,000 products have been reformulated, with 75% of responding members confirming they have reformulated products. For food and beverage companies, sodium and sugar were most often targeted for removal in reformulation and whole grains and vitamins were the most common nutrients to be added. For personal care and hygiene companies, the removal of parabens was the number one target in reformulation.
  • More than 30,000 communities were reached through industry-led health and wellness programmes, with 72% of responding members having partnered with community stakeholders.
  • Over 386,000 schools were involved in education programmes on health and wellness.
  • 93% of respondents said a “strong majority” of employees are eligible for employee health and wellness programmes.
  • 44% confirmed they were consulted by national and/or regional governments on the issue of improving health and wellness.

There is a lot to be proud of with regards to the achievements of our members and their commitment to collaboration for healthier lives. We will continue to work to inspire members to drive positive change and provide necessary support through things like toolkits, case studies and workshops.

We have also seen this year how our members’ efforts in product reformulation were picked up by the media. The progress to 180,000 reformulated products in 2016 – up from 84,000 in 2015 – shows that the industry is listening to changing demands. Our members focused on salt and sugar removal amongst others, and this has been extensively reported in media outlets. Here are some examples:

We see that competitive pressures and changing consumer demands will continue to drive this reformulation work and we are currently working on a framework for action to help our members with their efforts in this area.

Consumer Goods Industry Has a Responsibility to Help

There is a clear opportunity for business to contribute to public health and a culture of prevention, and members of the CGF acknowledge this fact as a responsibility. The number of products being reformulated is just one area that CGF members are making positive changes.

In our collaborative work, we want to build flagship moments for our industry and focus on topics where we can have the greatest, positive impact and use our industry strengths to collaborate and innovate to help people live healthier lives.

We need to see even more retailer-manufacturer collaborations and scaling up of programmes that bring together many-to-many – including governments and civil society – to help inspire healthier communities and create a culture of prevention.

Consumer needs are changing, and participating in the CGF provides a much better idea on the dynamic and how to recognise shifts in society. Product reformulation is just one piece of this complex puzzle, and I can only hope others will get involved and join us on this journey.

It’s also important to note that his work would not happen without our members’ commitment to measure and manage progress. A sincere thank you to our out-going co-chairs Petra Klassen Wigger (Nestlé) and Harm-Jan Pietersen (Ahold Delhaize) who have led this work wonderfully. For 2017, we look forward to working with Mary Kearney (Unilever) and Frank van Aalsum (Ahold Delhaize), who will take over the reins of the Measurement & Reporting Working Group and help continue to evolve our reporting and inspire others to join.

 Lastly, I’d like to thank Deloitte for their ongoing support in producing this report and for helping conduct the survey.

CGF-Sharon-Bligh-BWThis post was written and contributed by:

Sharon Bligh
Director, Health & Wellness
The Consumer Goods Forum