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Business News/ Companies / News/  Nestlé on infant cereal range in India: Reduced 30% added sugar in 5 years
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Nestlé on infant cereal range in India: Reduced 30% added sugar in 5 years

On Wednesday, The Guardian reported that Nestlé adds sugar and honey to infant milk and cereal products sold in parts of Asia, Africa and Latin America. The report was based on an investigation by Public Eye and the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN).

The company’s India spokesperson said it regularly reviews its portfolio and continues to innovate and reformulate products to further reduce the level of added sugars without compromising on quality, safety and taste. (REUTERS)Premium
The company’s India spokesperson said it regularly reviews its portfolio and continues to innovate and reformulate products to further reduce the level of added sugars without compromising on quality, safety and taste. (REUTERS)

New Delhi: In response to concerns about added sugar in its baby food, particularly in developing nations, Nestlé India said it has reduced up to 30% of added sugars across its infant cereal range over the past five years. The amount of sugar reduction varies depending on the specific cereal.

“We believe in the nutritional quality of our products for early childhood and prioritize using high-quality ingredients. Over the past five years, Nestlé India has reduced added sugars by up to 30%, depending on the variant, in our infant cereals portfolio (milk cereal based complementary food)," a company spokesperson said in response to queries sent by Mint.

On Wednesday, The Guardian reported that the Swiss foods company adds sugar and honey to infant milk and cereal products sold in “poorer countries". It cited data from Public Eye, a Swiss investigative organization, and the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) that examined Nestlé baby food brands sold in these markets. Public Eye examined 115 products sold in Nestlé’s main markets in Africa, Asia and Latin America across two key brands—Cerelac and Nodi.

In India, all Cerelac baby cereal products examined by Public Eye contained added sugar—on average nearly 3 gm per serving.

“Almost all the Cerelac infant cereals examined contain added sugar–nearly 4 grams per serving on average, equal to roughly a sugar cube– although they are targeted at babies from six months of age. The highest amount—7.3 grams per serving—was detected in a product sold in the Philippines," it said.

In Europe, the company does not add any sugar in its infant nutrition products.

“Two of the best-selling baby-food brands marketed by Nestlé in low- and middle-income countries contain high levels of added sugar, while such products are sugar free in its home country, Switzerland," according to an investigation by Public Eye and the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN).

Meanwhile, the company’s India spokesperson added that the company “regularly" reviews its portfolio and continues to innovate and reformulate products to further reduce the level of added sugars without compromising on quality, safety and taste.

To be sure, Nestlé sells a variety of products in India including noodles, chocolates and packaged milk. 

In calendar year 2022, the company’s milk products and nutrition portfolio that includes dairy whitener, condensed milk,  yoghurt, maternal and infant formula, baby foods, health care nutrition, reported sales of 6,815.73 crore.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Suneera Tandon
Suneera Tandon is a New Delhi based reporter covering consumer goods for Mint. Suneera reports on fast moving consumer goods makers, retailers as well as other consumer-facing businesses such as restaurants and malls. She is deeply interested in what consumers across urban and rural India buy, wear and eat. Suneera holds a masters degree in English Literature from the University of Delhi.
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Published: 17 Apr 2024, 09:51 PM IST
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