Health & Wellness Progress Report
Food companies and grocery retailers stepping up to tackle obesity
6 March 2018: Results from the latest Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) Health & Wellness Progress Report, prepared in conjunction with Deloitte Global, indicate steady progress is being made by consumer products companies towards the goals set by the organisations for themselves in the global battle to tackle obesity.
The report is based on a global survey of 83 retailers and consumer goods manufacturers of which 45% are based here in Asia-Pacific. The respondents represent a collective value of more than US$3 trillion in revenues and impact billions of lives on a daily basis.
Now in its fifth year, the report details how members of the CGF are working together to empower consumers and employees around the world to live healthier lives. It acknowledges more work remains to be done, and to meet the long-term objective of creating healthier communities, the CGF has committed to strengthen its leadership in the area of health and wellness for the next five years and beyond.
Key findings from the report include:
- 88% of companies introduced products that have been formulated and/or reformulated to support healthier diets and lifestyles
- There was a 12% increase over the last year in the number of companies which are (re)formulating products to include less salt and less sugar
- There was more reporting from personal care companies on the reformulation of products including parabens, phthalates, microbeads and fragrances
- Respondents declared partnering with over 527,000 schools, up 37% since 2016
- 58% of respondents participated in food bank programmes, with 180 million meals distributed and over 77,000 tonnes of food donated.
“Unhealthy lifestyles leading to diseases such as obesity are huge global problems, not least here in Australia where three out of four adults are predicted to be overweight or obese by 2025 ,” says Vanessa Matthijssen, Deloitte National Consumer Products Leader.
“But we can change that future outlook. And food companies and grocery retailers are stepping up to take this challenge on by changing their practices and empowering their consumers to be healthier. We’re seeing an increase in ‘better for you’ and healthier products and a sharp rise in the number of start-ups in Australia focussed on healthy food. We are also seeing food retailers dedicating a significant increase in shelf space in their stores to fresh and healthier products.”
The report also acknowledges the evolving preferences of customers towards retailers who can demonstrate health, transparency, and are aware of their responsibilities and social impact.
“It’s encouraging to see 45% of the respondents in this research are headquartered in Asia-Pacific. It shows our region is engaged when it comes to improving our health and many are choosing to take a leading position in the prevention of obesity and unhealthy lifestyles. The same is true for many of our Australian companies. More CEOs have started to take personal responsibility to actively drive changes in their product portfolio and company practices. They see the opportunity to lead on a key social issue and in doing so secure the long-term growth of their company whilst driving social progress,” says Matthijssen.
“Health and wellness initiatives are key to remaining competitive. Success in the consumer industry depends on being able to identify and respond to trends in the marketplace. Health consciousness is a major consumer trend and it is here to stay. If you want to maintain the trust of your consumers and to be able to attract talent to your organisation, taking responsibility to improve the health of our society is a non-negotiable. It’s a ticket to play.”