Positive nutrition and fortification
Average read time: 13 minutes
We use good ingredients and the power of fortification to make nutritious – and delicious – products.
The nutritious ingredients in many of our products provide the micronutrients, protein or fibre that people need as part of a balanced diet. We try to pack in as many seasonal fruits and vegetables as we can, as well as beans and pulses, wholegrains and healthy oils. Vegetables like tomatoes, pumpkins, lentils and onions are hero ingredients in many Knorr products. And each year, we provide more than 100 billion servings of vegetables through these options.
2021 was named the UN’s International Year of Fruits and Vegetables and our products will continue to help people eat more vegetables throughout the year and beyond. Healthy habits, nutritious diets explains how our campaigns are encouraging people to eat nutritiously. For example, Knorr won a Dutch Advertising Association award for its Veggies taste amazing! campaign, and due to its success, we’ve extended it to the US, Spain and Germany.
But we want to go even further. We’re raising nutritional standards across our Foods portfolio through our new Future Foods commitments – by 2025, we’ll double the number of products delivering positive nutrition. And we’re taking action to reduce salt, sugar and calories in our products.
How do we define positive nutrition?
A meaningful amount of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, wholegrains, omega 3, protein, fibre, vitamins or minerals.
These are the ingredients that international dietary recommendations suggest people eat more of as they are good for people and the planet.
Eat for good with Knorr 50 Foods for the Future
Knorr’s goal is to get food that is good for people and the planet onto 7 billion plates by 2025.
We want to inspire everyone to make simple ingredient swaps, shaking up meals to increase their nutritional value and reduce their environmental impact. Healthy habits, nutritious diets explains more about our campaign.
We’re busy creating new products that feature the Future 50 Foods and by 2025, 25% of Knorr’s portfolio will contain the Future 50 Foods. Knorr Turkey, for instance, has launched its first Future 50 Foods soup range. Our Anatolian Grains soups are high in nutritional value and protein, are a source of fibre, and use local sources for 95% of the top 13 herbs and spices that deliver their rich flavours.
Locking in goodness
By picking vegetables and grains at their peak and drying them gently, we’re able to lock in their nutrient goodness.
For instance, our Knorr dried vegetable soups deliver up to 290 g of vegetables per serving – more than half of the World Health Organization-recommended daily amount of fruit and vegetables. Our Knorr meal kits also encourage consumers to eat more vegetables and try new ingredients, including flexitarian and vegetarian alternatives. In the Netherlands, 2,200 consumers named our Knorr Meal Trips meal kits as Product of the Year 2021.
But it’s not just Knorr that’s helping people to access nutritious ingredients.
Hellmann’s: the perfect partner for healthy eating
Since 1913, Hellmann’s rich and creamy mayonnaise has displayed its signature blue ribbon on jars, showing that it meets the highest quality standards.
We keep it simple using cage-free eggs, lemon juice, vinegar, a sprinkle of salt, sugar, and natural flavour, and plant-based oils. These contain 'good fats' such as omega 3 and 6, making Hellmann's the perfect partner for healthy eating.
During the pandemic, Hellmann’s added a further dollop of inspiration through the Stay-In(spired) campaign, offering creative recipes using cupboard staples and leftovers, as well as fun things to cook with kids. Waste-free world explains how Hellmann’s is also helping to cut food waste.
The benefits of tea
We know that tea uniquely contains both theanine and caffeine, and is a rich source of flavonoids which are linked to health benefits like a healthy heart. In the US, as a result of studies showing this, we received approval to display the Healthy Heart logo on all our Lipton green and black teas – Healthy habits, nutritious diets explains more.
In response to people’s growing concerns about health and immunity, we’re launching new products with a focus on both taste and goodness. Lipton’s Green Tea Watermelon and Green Tea White Peach in the US, for instance, both carry the claim ‘with 100% daily value antioxidant vitamin C per 12 fl oz’. And they comply with our Highest Nutritional Standards (HNS).
We’ve also introduced Lipton Grape Sijichun, a powdered drink, which is a source of vitamin C, and Lipton Oat-based milk teas in peach oolong, cocoa black tea and jasmine white tea, which are low fat, low sugar and rich in dietary fibre.
However, for more than ten years, Brooke Bond’s Red Label Natural Care immunity-boosting tea has been a trusted beacon.
More new products, more positive nutrition
All over the world, we’re introducing new products with a focus on nutrition as well as flavour. In Australia and New Zealand, for instance, we’ve introduced Nutrish soups, which use nutritious ingredients like risotto rice, tomatoes, red quinoa and red capsicum. The soups are all compliant with our Highest Nutritional Standards (HNS), are vegan, and a good source of fibre and protein.
In Brazil, we’re increasing the number of wholegrain products available by expanding our portfolio of Mãe Terra, Maizena and Knorr products, like cookies and breakfast cereals. We also introduced Knorr Future 50-powered mixes of dried beans and pastas with grains and vegetables. And in Europe, Knorr launched the first pulse-based pastas, including Knorr Activ Wholegrain Spirals with Green Pesto and Knorr Activ Veggie Wheat Lentil Mediterranean. These are a source of fibre and protein.
Some of our ice creams are also a good source of dietary fibre and protein. In China, we’ve introduced So Good yoghurt and banana flavour ice cream, which is low fat and rich in dietary fibre and complies with our HNS. And our new So Good Oat flavour ice cream is also rich in dietary fibre. Goodiz ice cream in Israel meets our HNS and is a source of protein that’s low in fat and calories. And Breyers Delights in the US contains only 270–330 calories per tub and is high in protein, a source of fibre and low in sugar.
Kissan Peanut Butter in India
Peanuts contain lots of nutrients, and because they’re an excellent source of protein and zinc in particular, this makes them a great choice as a plant-based protein for growing kids, as well as adults.
In India, diets are cereal centric and survey data suggests that over decades, the Indian diet has become lower on protein content. We’ve introduced Kissan Peanut Butter in India, so now the protein content of a typical South Indian breakfast can be increased by over 50% just by including one serving (or two tablespoons/30 g) of Kissan Peanut Butter.
Our peanuts are handpicked from the farms of Gujarat, which are famous for their quality of peanuts. Kissan actually means 'farmer' and Kissan as a brand believes strongly in standing by farmers.
The superior grade peanuts are perfectly roasted to give a smooth and creamy texture. And the peanut butter meets our HNS and contains no added artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.
Health is still needlessly damaged by micronutrient deficiency
2 billion People are affected by micronutrient deficiency
Despite efforts to eat well and combat malnutrition around the world, around a quarter of the population are still affected by micronutrient deficiency. From anaemia to pregnancy-related issues, health is damaged simply by the lack of a few micronutrients, such as iron and iodine.
The good news is it’s fixable.
The WHO and leading economists have identified food fortification as one of the most cost-effective approaches to meeting people’s nutritional needs. Fortification is when small and safe amounts of essential micronutrients are added to foods that are eaten regularly.
We’ve prioritised both fortification and positive nutrition to help people get the nutrients they need.
Fortification: a strategic priority
Every single day, we sell millions of servings of fortified products, including seasonings, bouillons, soups, sauces, tea and ice cream.
These servings include at least 15% of the recommended daily amount for nutrients, in line with regulations. We offer fortified foods at an affordable price, develop products using good ingredients like vegetables, fruits, dairy and vegetable oils to support more diverse diets, and promote nutritious cooking – we’ve set out our latest position statement on fortification (PDF 126KB).
By 2022, we’re aiming to provide more than 200 billion servings with at least one of the five key micronutrients, vitamin A, D, iodine, iron and zinc. So far, we’ve delivered over 125 billion servings towards this commitment.
Our global nutrition team, for instance, developed our internal plant-based meat standards, in line with global recommendations, such as from the WHO. This includes ensuring a minimum of 15% Nutrient Reference Values (NRV) per serving for micronutrients like iron and vitamin B12. This means when people eat any of our meat alternatives, like The Vegetarian Butcher’s Little Peckers, Patty on the Back, or Chickened Out Burger, they can be guaranteed of our high nutrition standards.
We’ve been recognised for our work in addressing undernutrition as a strong focus of our commercial strategy. We’ve produced a series of infographics (PDF 5.26MB) explaining how we’re providing essential micronutrients to help other food companies looking to fortify their products.
And to step up efforts to tackle malnutrition, we’re pushing for change across the food system. See Our nutrition philosophy and approach for more on our advocacy efforts.
Five critical micronutrients for better health
There are five key micronutrients for better health – these are iron, iodine, zinc, vitamin A and vitamin D. We provide a range of fortified products to help people access these micronutrients. We also run programmes to inspire people to cook using our fortified products, to help them achieve better health.
Our Knorr My Green Food Steps programme, for example, encourages more people to cook with Knorr cubes and other vegetable ingredients high in iron. A study concluded that this can successfully raise awareness of anaemia and change cooking habits to help increase iron intake. We’ve also started a similar programme, called Get your iron up! in Kenya, where we sell almost 1.2 billion packs of iron and iodine-fortified bouillons a year.
Horlicks – an everyday essential for generations
The iconic Horlicks brand has been the leader in its category in India and a cherished brand in South Asian households for generations.
The drinks are all fortified with critical micronutrients – the much-loved Horlicks Classic, for instance, contains 23 vital nutrients scientifically proven to support children’s growth and development. Junior Horlicks bridges the nutritional gaps for younger, often picky eaters. Horlicks Mother’s Plus provides optimal nutrition for lactating mothers and their babies. And for ageing adults, there’s Horlicks Protein Plus, supporting muscle maintenance.
So, through Horlicks, we offer tailored nutritional support across the generations. And through the Horlicks Swasthya Abhiyan community programme, we’re raising awareness of good nutrition in 30,000 villages across India.
More fortified products
Maizena is another of our flagship brands, with a range of fortified porridges to nourish children and corn starch to aid cooking in Latin America. Our Maizena Instant Porridge and Milk Modifier ranges, for example, are a source of 12 micronutrients.
We’ve reformulated existing Maizena products, improving the fortification of vitamin A, calcium, folic acid, iron and zinc in our porridges to strengthen immunity and the cognitive system. We’ve also improved our corn starch recipe to provide nine vitamins and minerals.
We’ve expanded our Maizena range by introducing Corn Flakes, Cremogema cereal porridge with 12 micronutrients, and a gluten-free portfolio which won an APSAL award in Argentina.
Our new Maizena Cremogema variants include Sleeping Time which is flavoured with calming passion fruit and True Veggies which is made with potatoes and carrots that kids love.
We’re fortifying our bouillons, such as Royco Chicken and Beef, with micronutrients such as iron, zinc and iodine.
We’ve also started adding iodine to Royco Meal Makers, to help more people make delicious, nutritious dishes.
More iodine in more products
More than 3,000 of our (mostly Knorr) products contain a meaningful amount of iodine. In Latin America, we’ve added iodine to our Knorr Tomato Cubes, just one example of the 10.3 million servings of iodine-fortified products that we offer in the region.
We sell products containing iodised salt in over 70 countries on all continents – except for North America.
The iodine initiative
Iodine deficiency disorders (IDD) can have a big impact on child development, especially in the first 1,000 days from conception. So it’s important to reach women of childbearing age and pregnant women with iodine fortification and education.
In Indonesia, for instance, Royco (Knorr) is the first food brand that’s championing iodine to support growth and development. We’re committed to fighting malnutrition for a better future generation with strong products, strong programmes and strong partners. In 2021, Royco aims to deliver 36 billion servings of iodised salt.
Education helps change habits
In Indonesia, we set a goal to educate over 55 million people on the importance of balanced nutrition. Through our Nutrimenu Programme alone, we will reach a total of 2.6 million people, both directly and indirectly, with iodine and healthy eating education.
In 2021, we launched the second edition of our Nutrimenu book, in collaboration with MotherBabyIodine, and introduced programmes targeting pregnant women, young mums and teen students.
We’re partnering with the government, seven NGOs including Nutrition International, GAIN and Thyroid Federation International, as well as numerous community stakeholders to raise public awareness about the causes and consequences of IDD, initially in Indonesia, with other countries to follow.
Ice cream treats with goodness
All our kids’ ice creams are responsibly developed, complying with our Highest Nutritional Standards. This means they are all limited in the amount of sugar and saturated fat they can contain, and must be below 110 kcals per serving – in fact, more than half of our kids’ ice creams are below 60 kcals per serving.
We consulted parents who told us that we’d done a good job in reducing calories. Next, getting more goodness into occasional ice cream treats was their priority. The fruit and milk in our ice creams (containing calcium and vitamins, especially vitamin D) provide reassurance that their kids can enjoy an occasional treat that is limited in calories and provides goodness – and, of course, is delicious.
As well as being responsibly developed, all our children’s ice creams are responsibly communicated and responsibly advertised.