Encouraging healthier lifestyles: How we’re doing this

May 17, 2016

As the world’s largest food and beverage company, we aim to make our food and beverages tastier and healthier, while providing affordable choices to help Africans care for themselves and their families.


In Central and West Africa (CWAR), the impact of the rising rates of non-communicable diseases such as stroke, cancer and diabetes, are affecting the health and well-being of the African population due to unhealthy diets and physical inactivity.


At Nestlé, we can make a significant contribution to tackle these health challenges in the region and worldwide by promoting healthier lifestyles, driving science-based nutrition and health solutions, and working with public health authorities and organisations.


Whether it is in terms of convenience, health or pleasure, we are able and committed to create trusted and safe products and programmes to enhance people’s lives. Here are ways we are doing this in the region.


1)    Providing high-quality, safe, nutritious food and beverages


We’re investing in the innovation and renovation of our product portfolio to boost nutritional value, while improving taste. In 2015, 100% of our products in CWAR were assessed and met all of the Nestlé Nutritional Foundation (NF) criteria in providing nutritionally sound products for children, including the criteria for salt, sugars and saturated fats. We aim to continue to meet these criteria in the future for all our products for children.


We’re renovating and innovating our products such as cereal brand Golden Morn to reduce salt without compromising on taste. In 2015, we released the new Golden Morn recipe which is now 14% lower in salt to achieve NF criteria.


We’re focusing on product reformulation and development to meet the needs and tastes of African people at our Research and Development Centre in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. We’re using product fortification to address micronutrient deficiencies, and bio-fortification in which nutrient-rich conventionally bred crops are cross-bred with high-yield varieties to produce high-yielding, nutritious crops as ingredients in our products.


2)     Promoting healthy diets and lifestyles, including physical activity


We’re engaging with millions of Africans across the region through our brand Maggi to boost healthier lifestyles. Our Maggi Cooking Caravans travelled through five countries in 2015, reaching over one million women and Maggi mammies through cooking demonstrations, forums and discussions.


We launched the ‘Healthy Living Africa’ campaign in 2015 on our social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+, using a different theme each week to help people cut salt in their diets. We reached 11 million people through the use of messages, videos and hashtags such as #DidYouKnow and #HealthyLivingAfrica.


We’ve introduced the Nestlé Healthy Kids Programme in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal to promote healthy lifestyles to schoolchildren. We’ve teamed up with our partners, universities and the Ministries of Health and Education in each country to boost the initiative. So far, we’ve reached about 82,000 children and 1,200 teachers in CWAR.


Together with the Ministry of Health, we launched a salt campaign in Cameroon in 2015 on the health risks of excessive salt consumption. As part of the campaign, mobile caravans travelled across the country, community health workers went door-to-door to raise awareness, TV and radio programmes were broadcast, and posters were displayed in urban areas and healthcare centres.