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Nestlé assesses products worth CHF 36.4 billion to enhance taste and nutritional value

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SENSORY TESTING: A session at the Nestlé Research Center.

Nestlé has assessed products worth CHF 36.4 billion in total sales with consumers over the past three years as part of its global strategy to enhance nutritional value while improving taste.

The Company’s unique 60/40+ programme - the largest of its kind ever to be deployed in the industry - firstly requires at least 60% of a large consumer sample to prefer the Nestlé product in a blind taste test against its direct competitors.

Secondly, where relevant, it requires the product to offer an additional nutritional ‘plus’, based on criteria recommended by world-renowned nutrition and health authorities, as well as on local public health and regulatory priorities.

Sanjay Sehgal, Head of Nestlé’s Corporate Wellness Unit, explained how 60/40+ underpins the Company’s worldwide approach to product development.

He said: “We employ the 60/40+ programme to deliver on both taste and nutrition. Since it began, more than half a million consumers have helped to shape our products by participating in testing.”

DEVELOPED THROUGH 60/40+: A special range of Herta brand Knacki sausages and Le Bon Paris cooked ham in France offers 25% less salt than the market average.

“From 2003 onwards, Nestlé was the first company in the food industry to put comprehensive policies in place for the systematic reduction of specific nutrients that are considered to be detrimental to health when consumed in excess, and also to offer consumers more essential nutrients or nutritious ingredients.

He pointed out: “We are committed to doing this without compromising on taste. We strongly believe that nutrition must also be pleasurable if it is to be enjoyed as part of a healthy balanced diet.”

As a result of 60/40+, and through its comprehensive nutrition policies, Nestlé has reduced trans fatty acids, salt, sugar and saturated fats in products across its worldwide food and beverage portfolio, while offering consumers healthier options.

Targeting mainstream product categories

Each year, Nestlé selects a range of products across its 18 food and beverage categories for 60/40+ assessment, prioritising best-sellers and new innovations about to be launched in order to maximize its impact on consumer health.

The Company then focuses its advertising on those products which score highly in testing, to ensure they are made visible to consumers in a specific market.

In 2010, the range of new product innovations launched as result of 60/40+ included the iron, iodine, and vitamin A-fortified Maggi Masala-ae-Magic spice mix in India, developed to provide lower income consumers with a low cost but nutritious spice mix to add to meals.

CHILDREN'S LUNCH BOX SNACK: Uncle Toby’s Fruit Fix provides one serving of fruit as part of a balanced meal.

Meanwhile in Australia, the lunchbox snack Uncle Toby’s Fruit Fix was developed to provide schoolchildren with one serving of fruit and a source of vitamin C, folate and fibre.

Between 2005 and 2010, as part of the 60/40+ programme, Nestlé made significant salt reductions across a range of mainstream product categories around the world, either by renovating existing products or introducing new ones.

Renovations have included a 30% reduction in salt in the Company’s highly popular Maggi Masala Noodles in India and a 33% salt reduction in its Maggi bouillon cubes in the Netherlands.

Among the innovations are a special range of Herta brand Knacki sausages and Le Bon Paris cooked ham in France, which offer 25% less salt than the market average, and a new Benebien bouillon range in the Dominican Republic, which also offers 25% less salt.

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