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Improving our offering for healthier and more sustainable diets

Average read time: 4 minutes

We continue to improve the nutritional quality of our products to support the shift to better diets.

girl, woman and a boy with a scallion above their lips in the kitchen

We believe in a food system that helps consumers to choose more sustainable diets – eating patterns that are good for people and good for the planet. Our biggest global brands – such as Knorr, Hellmann’s and Wall’s – offer holistically superior products that aim to satisfy consumers’ preferences on taste, health and ingredients, as well as sustainability. Many of our products have nutritious ingredients that can help provide micronutrients, protein, fibre or essential fatty acids that people need as part of a balanced diet. Read more about our nutrition philosophy and approach (Opens in a pop-up window ).

We’re continuously innovating to improve nutritional quality across our brands, maximising positive nutrients and reducing nutrients to limit. For decades, we’ve been investing in improving the nutritional quality of our products through innovation and reformulation, as well as portfolio adjustments. We drive this work through our internal guidelines and strategy, regularly reviewing and improving our approach. Over time, we’ve learned to focus on products that are consumed frequently and in high volumes in order to have the greatest impact on consumers’ diets – all the while ensuring we keep the same great taste.

Our goals

  • 85% of our portfolio to meet Unilever’s Science-based Nutrition Criteria by 2028

    81%Our progress in 2023

  • Double the number of products sold that deliver positive nutrition by 2025

    52%Our progress in 2023

  • 95% of packaged ice cream to contain no more than 22 grams of total sugar per serving by 2025

    89%Our progress in 2023

  • 95% of packaged ice cream to contain no more than 250 calories per serving by 2025

    94%Our progress in 2023

  • 80% of our global beverage[a] portfolio to contain a maximum of 5 grams of sugar per 100ml by 2025

    77%Our progress in 2023

    [a] Includes all sweetened tea and herbal based beverages.

Unilever’s Science-based Nutrition Criteria (USNC) (PDF 659.68 KB) (Opens in a pop-up window ) are our standards for nutrients to limit that guide the nutritional quality of our products to healthier options. They consist of product-specific criteria with thresholds for calories, salt, sugar and saturated fat. We modelled these criteria (Opens in a pop-up window ) against dietary surveys in five markets (Brazil, China, France, the UK and US). The results show that our standards have the potential to create positive public health impacts in all these countries.

To increase the amount of positive ingredients and nutrients in our products, we’ve created our Positive Nutrition Standards (PNS) (PDF 501.09 KB) (Opens in a pop-up window ). These are the ingredients and nutrients that people are encouraged to consume more of. Our research shows (Opens in a pop-up window ) that these standards can help consumers increase their intake of positive nutrients and ingredients. Micronutrient fortification is part of this to address nutritional needs in a cost-effective way. Micronutrient deficiencies vary across the world, so we‘re careful to fortify the right products in the right markets for the consumers who need them. We exceeded our goal to provide more than 200 billion servings with at least one of the five key micronutrients, vitamin A, vitamin D, iodine, iron and zinc by 2022 and ultimately delivered 236 billion servings.

We have been recognised for our work to address malnutrition as part of our commercial strategy, including by Access to Nutrition (ATNI), which assesses food and beverage companies’ contributions to healthy and sustainable diets. It confirms that we have a comprehensive approach to tackling all forms of malnutrition, with strong policies and practices relating to the provision of healthy products. Its latest Global Index in 2021 (Opens in a pop-up window ) positioned Unilever second out of 25 companies.

Here are some examples of products we’ve delivered in 2023:

A pack of Knorr Mitten Shiro

Knorr Mitten Shiro

Knorr Mitten Shiro was launched in Ethiopia with all-natural ingredients and fortified with vitamin A to support growth and address micronutrient deficiency while also helping families save time preparing meals. Shiro is a traditional stew made with split peas/chickpeas and a spice blend.

Knorr Rice Cups variations. Garden Tomato Risotto, Fajita Rice, Chicken Flavored Fried Rice and Three Cheese Mushroom Risotto

Knorr Rice Cups

Knorr Rice Cups were launched in North America and meet both the USNC and PNS. They contain over a quarter cup of vegetables, seven grams of protein and less sodium than found in traditional instant ramen.

A pack of Knorr Iron+ Masala noodles with an icon highlighting the price of 30 Pakistan rupees

Knorr Iron+ Masala Noodles

Knorr launched Iron+ Masala Noodles in Pakistan, which provide 15% of daily iron requirements per serving. It is one of Pakistan’s most affordable brands of noodles, providing a nutritious and affordable snacking option amid hyperinflation and a surge in iron-deficiency anaemia.

Knorr Pasta Snack Pot Cheese Cream Sauce flavour

Knorr Snack Pot

Knorr Snack Pot range has been reformulated in Europe with 70% less saturated fats, 9% less salt and 15% more protein.

A jar of Horlicks Chocolate Millet

Millet Chocolate Horlicks

Millet Chocolate Horlicks was launched in India and is made with wholegrain multi millets. These are a natural source of calcium, iron, protein and fibre – all essential nutrients for children’s growth.

Bottles of Lipton Ice Tea Green Zero and Peach Zero and a can of Lipton Ice Tea Green Mango Zero

Lipton Zero Sugar

Lipton introduced more zero sugar variants across multiple markets, including Lipton Zero Red Fruits in Lebanon and Lipton Ice Tea Green Mango Zero in Belgium, which consumers voted as Product of the Year in 2023.

A pack of Knorr Chicken Zero Salt Bouillion with a logo of Fundación Mexicana de Corazón

Knorr Zero Salt Bouillon cube

Knorr Zero Salt Bouillon cubes launched in Mexico and are now recommended by the Mexican Heart Foundation.

A box of Magnum Double Caramel Almond

Magnum Double Caramel

Magnum Double Caramel’s sugar content is now less than 22 grams per serving in Europe and the UK.

: A tub of Ben&Jerry's Lighten! Up Vanilla Brownie on strings with clouds, blue skies and rolling hills in the background

Ben & Jerry’s Lighten Up

Ben & Jerry’s Lighten Up! launched in Belgium, the Netherlands, the UK and Ireland with 30% less fat than similar products.

Read more about how we help people enjoy treats responsibly.

Portion sizes

Healthier diets are not just about what we eat, but also how much we eat. Portions have tended to increase in size over many years, a global phenomenon leading to ‘portion distortion’ or the normalising of unnecessarily larger portions. In addition to improving our products, we also help people understand what an appropriate portion size looks like to enable them to make informed choices:

  • We ensure that our marketing and point-of-sale communications encourage appropriate portion sizes. We aim to demonstrate what a reasonable serving looks like as part of a healthy diet, considering the setting and intended consumer.

  • We provide different serving size options to cater to different needs. For example, we offer mini ice creams so that people can enjoy a treat while managing their sugar consumption and energy intake. Demand for our smaller-sized products is increasing – Magnum Minis are one of our fastest-growing segments (Opens in a pop-up window ) within our Ice Cream business group.

  • We provide key information on pack, adhere to regulations in line with our nutrition labelling policy (Opens in a pop-up window ) and comply with local labelling requirements. This ensures consumers have the information they need to make informed decisions.

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