Healthier, happier customers that live longer are good for business. The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) Collaboration for Healthier Lives (CHL) Coalition of Action and The NOURISH Movement, convened members and health industry professionals at the CGF Global Summit in Chicago on the 10th June 2024. They met to collaborate and drive progress around the interconnecting trends of food, healthcare and technology CGF Co-Chair and CHL Co-Sponsor Frans Muller, CEO of Ahold Delhaize addressed the session. He encouraged the industry to engage in more transparent and constructive dialogue to drive positive, actionable change. 

Diet is the primary risk factor for mortality and morbidity with 1 in every 2 adults suffering from diabetes or  pre-diabetes. The management of diet related chronic diseases currently comprises 85% of healthcare spending.

So, discussions focussed on an urgent need to integrate food and healthcare systems to tackle the growing burden of chronic conditions such as diabetes, malnutrition and other lifestyle diseases. A more holistic approach is required that leverages the power of food ‘as medicine’. 

Ayla Ziz, Chief Customer Officer, SVP Commercial Europe, Danone and Co-Chair of the CHL Coalition of Action, started the session off by posing questions that focus on the group’s potential to drive behaviour change through hyper-localised initiatives and unpacking the business case for investing in healthier products. 

“Performance is linked to sustainability, and sustainability is linked to performance.” –Ayla Ziz, Chief Customer Officer, SVP Commercial Europe, Danone

The NOURISH Movement is a group of passionate global leaders coming together to empower human health through food, sustainably. CHL invited representatives from The NOURISH Movement, Maggie Biscarr and Scott Bowman to facilitate the session and introduce external industry experts or ‘firestarters’ for a candid discussion around key trends: 

The food industry has a role to play in promoting healthier eating habits. There is a need for collaboration between food companies, government, and the medical community to drive positive change.

  • The potential impact of healthier initiatives on the food industry is vast –  Estimated $6 billion in annual savings through healthier food options.
  • Health, wellness and food as medicine will only be effective if  it’s a business driver. If it’s seen as a CSR focused effort, it will fail in the long term.
  • Public-private partnerships can help solve food insecurity issues in middle and low income communities. To provide affordable, healthier food options for low-income families, collaboration between chefs, dietitians, nutritionists, and manufacturers can create easy-to-understand, consumer-friendly solutions.
  • Technology can be used to personalise food recommendations based on individual dietary needs and preferences. AI can standardise data for food as medicine solutions, enabling predictive recommendations. There is an opportunity to design and optimise foods for specific populations, particularly using large language models. 

Consumers want solutions that address their needs, not just fears.” – Frans Muller, CEO of Ahold Delhaize 

The food industry has the potential to influence consumer choice at scale through mass personalisation, leveraging data, digital and AI, and accelerate the transition in food as medicine movement from patient (intervention) to consumer (empowerment). 

The session ended on a high note with a call to action to delve deeper into innovation around GLP-1 solutions and continue to explore collaborative opportunities to drive healthier and more sustainable lives for all.


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