We recently published our latest edition of the Health & Wellness Progress Report*, demonstrating a further shift on how our members are working together to show industry leadership, address changing consumer demands and empowering consumers to adopt healthier lifestyles.

It is important for us to continue this effort year on year to understand where we are progressing and where gaps still lie and there is an increased need for collaboration.

This year’s edition builds on the success we have seen in previous years as more products are reformulated; more employees have access to wellbeing programmes and business is working with local stakeholders to come together to address today’s leading health and wellness challenges in communities globally.

The key findings in our report show that:

  • The Consumer Goods Forum reveals more companies are engaging with communities on health;
  • 85% of consumer goods companies say they have formed partnerships with community stakeholders;
  • Nearly six in ten companies (58%) said they had been involved in food bank programmes, distributing 180 million meals and donating over 77,400 tonnes of food;
  • Over 1.6 million employees participated in health and wellness programmes. Employees form key groups within local communities and improving health in the workplace has also seen as a key step towards healthier communities.

The Health & Wellness report also demonstrated that product reformulation has been a continued focus over the last year. Just under nine in ten (88%) companies said they had introduced products that had been formulated or reformulated to support healthier diets and lifestyles. There was also a 12% rise in the number of businesses that are cutting salt and sugar in their products – responding to calls to action by the governments over unhealthy food as childhood obesity has increased more than tenfold over the past four decades, putting many millions at risk of poor health and an early death across the world.

Local engagement is the major theme of this year’s Health & Wellness Pillar report, emphasising the benefits of retailer and manufacturer collaboration. The Consumer Goods Forum’s ‘Collaboration for Healthier Lives’ (CHL) initiative has pushed the issue of community health programmes and working with local public health authorities to drive positive action within communities around the world.

In 2017, CHL initiatives are active in Colombia, Japan and the United States, and more are planned to be rolled-out this year in Costa Rica, Turkey, France and the United Kingdom. Activities have included distributing educational material in stores, partnering with public health authorities, engaging with local educational institutions and promoting the benefits of healthier choices and regular exercise through health fairs and free in-store health checks.

I would like to thank all the CGF member companies, who have shared their data in the only such global survey covering both retailers and consumer goods manufacturers. It is not always an easy task but our continuous efforts will have a positive impact in our long-term commitment to health and wellness.  I also would like to thank Mary Kearney, Senior Manager – Nutrition & Health Operations at Unilever, for her leadership as Chair for the Measurement & Reporting work stream.  Mary will be hosting a webinar on 3rd April and I invite you to connect to get the latest insights from the report (Register here).  Finally, I would like to thank our partner Deloitte who have been conducting the survey with us for the fifth year running.  We are lucky to have such great support of our efforts. Let’s keep the momentum, step by step to reach even more employees and communities and to support healthier diets and lifestyles around the world.

Download a copy of the 2018 Health & Wellness Progress Report.

Sharon Bligh
Director, Health & Wellness
The Consumer Goods Forum

*The report is based on a survey of 83 CGF members, who generate a combined US$2.97 trillion in revenues.