During the recent Health & Wellness Steering Committee meeting in October, members of the External Advisory Council presented their thoughts on what the CGF should be doing to help progress actions that help empower consumers to make informed choices and inspire people around the world to live healthier lives. The group also discussed how the CGF can better connect with multi-stakeholder networks outside of the consumer goods industry. Members of the Council present were Pierre Chandon, PhDStephan Jacob, PhDJames O. Hill, PhD, and Ellen E. Wartella, PhD.
As part of the meeting, Council members also presented on areas of interest:
  • Ellen looked at the importance of self-regulation and how it pre-empts regulation (legislation). She said the CGF can bring others along with its positive agenda and that pledges are working.  With an emphasis on marketing to children, she stressed the need for open discussion with governments, but that self-regulation was essential to positive change. 
  • Jim presented on wellness transformation and the crisis the world is now facing because of increases in obesity and diabetes, the lack of physical activity and increasing health costs. He said more needs to be done to inspire transformative changes and that, as an industry, we need to be proactive, take the bull by the horns, come up with plan and publish it. We need to lead and challenge other industries to step up to the plate. He stressed the importance of a plan of action for the industry that looks 10 years down the road.
  • Pierre then looked at food reformulation and why, as a standalone, it wasn’t enough. He said the industry needs to look at the triple win – consumer pleasure, better health, better business – in order to build businesses that are admired by both employees and consumers. He said we should go beyond being defensive and beyond nutrition to create a new value equation, including hedonism – make people enjoy smaller portions.
Finally, the discussions also revolved around how the CGF can better use the Council to support its mission and make use of the expertise that is available, including ways to define targets and expectations, have Council members engage with the wider membership and how often members should report back to the Committee on progress and on providing opinions on how best to move the industry forward.