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Reducing sugar, sodium and fats

Our commitment: Further decrease sugars, sodium and saturated fat

sugar reduction

Science-based renovation and innovation

Public health evidence shows that diets with lower sugar, sodium, saturated fat and trans fats can improve health outcomes and decrease non-communicable diseases (NCDs). We have made great progress in reducing the levels of these public health-sensitive nutrients in our foods and beverages over the past 10 years.

Progress against our objectives

Our objectives Our results

By 2020: Reduce the sugars we add in our foods and beverages by 5% to support individuals and families in meeting global recommendations.

By 2020: Reduce the sodium we add in our products by 10% to support individuals and families in meeting global recommendations.

By 2020: Complete the 10% commitment taken in 2014, to reduce saturated fats by 10% in all relevant products that do not meet the Nutritional Foundation (NF) criteria with respect to saturated fats.

We started reducing sugar, sodium and fats in 2000. In 2016, we announced our new, ambitious 2020 commitment, and in 2017 released implementation guidelines to help our markets achieve this.

Standardised reporting systems will capture these additional reduction efforts, and measurement is in progress for all three of our objectives. We will report sugar, sodium and fat reduction, both as a percentage and tonnage, at a local and global level from 2018 onwards.

Our approach

Our approach is holistic. We will not replace one nutrient of concern with another, and we will not compromise on taste. We focus on foods and beverages that contribute most to people’s intake of these nutrients, to have the biggest impact. Being transparent about our efforts also helps ensure improvements are as effective as possible.

Ground-breaking lower-sugar discovery

Our ground-breaking sugar discovery changes the structure of sugar in a bar of milk chocolate, delivering an identical sweet taste faster than with regular sugar. In 2018, we will launch our first chocolate using this innovation, which could help us reduce sugar by up to 40%.

Reducing sodium in Senegalese Maggi bouillons

In Senegal, we were the first company to launch foods and beverages aligned with the government’s pioneering new salt standard. Our iconic Maggi brand’s mission is to support home cooks with healthier and tastier choices, so we reformulated Maggi bouillons, lowering salt by 11% while maintaining taste.

Cutting saturated fat in Asian noodles

We are exploring ways to cut saturated fat from our popular Asian noodles. We have identified a nutritionally superior, commercially available and locally produced alternative oil. Having passed a sourcing study, we are now evaluating its commercial viability. If successful, this will positively impact many people’s intake of saturated fat when enjoying our Asian noodles.

Our progress in 2017

Sugar – We are pleased that over half of our foods and beverages currently provide less than 5% energy from free sugars. In 2017, we reduced sugar in KitKat – our number one confectionery brand – by around 7% while maintaining its taste. We achieved this without using sweeteners or other artificial ingredients, simply by adding more of KitKat’s two main ingredients: milk and cocoa. We also scaled up our new sugar structure technology, with a view to launching our first chocolate using this innovation from 2018.

Sodium – We issued a new, ambitious policy to further reduce sodium by an average of at least 10% by the end of 2020, in all foods and beverages not yet aligned with our former sodium targets. This means a targeted salt reduction of more than 15 000 tonnes, and we are proud that some markets have already met the 10% target.

Saturated fat – We continued to make progress in reducing saturated fat in foods and beverages that do not yet meet the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommended levels. To help our markets reach recommended levels, we released implementation guidelines.

We remain committed to further decreasing levels of sugars, sodium and saturated fat gradually, while maintaining taste. To read more about how we are doing this, please see our full CSV report (pdf, 10 Mb).