27 Mar 2024 3 min read

Crunch time: we’re asking Nestlé to do more to support healthy food choices

By Investment Stewardship team

We are co-filing a shareholder resolution at the company's 2024 AGM, calling for more effective targets to increase the availability of healthier food choices for consumers.


As the largest food company in the world,1 Nestlé* sets an example for the rest of the industry in terms of driving positive change and raising market standards.

We have engaged both collaboratively and individually with Nestlé on the topic of nutrition since 2021. Our collaborations have been with both the Access to Nutrition Initiative and ShareAction Healthy Markets Initiative; this shareholder resolution is directly linked to the latter.

There is a clear link between poor diets and chronic health conditions such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes. These in turn may lead to increased healthcare costs and decreased productivity, both of which will have negative impacts on the economy and, ultimately, on our clients' assets.

What triggered our escalation?

In September 2023, Nestlé announced a new nutrition target which we believe is not stretching enough. Our views, as part of ShareAction’s response at the time, are detailed here.

Our main concerns are:

  • Nestlé’s new target is broadly in line with its current overall growth guidance, meaning if sales of unhealthier products increase in line with this guidance, there would be no improvement linked to consumer health and diets
  • Some of the products counted as ‘nutritious’ by Nestlé are outside the scope of government-endorsed nutrient profile models (including commercial baby foods and coffee).2 By increasing sales of out-of-scope products classified by Nestlé as nutritious, the company could meet its target without having any positive impact on public health

In this shareholder resolution, we are therefore calling on Nestlé to:

  • Set key performance indicators (KPIs) regarding the absolute and proportional sales figures for food and beverage products according to their healthfulness, as defined by a government-endorsed Nutrient Profiling Model
  • Provide a timebound target to increase the proportion of sales derived from these healthier products

These requests are intended to address our main concerns and strengthen the link between Nestlé’s targets and real-world impact by increasing the proportion of healthier food available in consumer markets.

Our global stewardship themes

We believe nutrition is an important topic for investors because it has a significant impact on the health and well-being of individuals, communities and societies. The interconnected challenges of obesity, undernutrition and micronutrient deficiencies represent a heavy burden to economic development globally: their material cost is estimated at 5% of global income, or $3.5 trillion, per annum.3

Several governments around the world have implemented, or are considering implementing, regulation related to labelling and advertising of unhealthy food products, taxation and more.4 We believe companies with high revenue exposure to unhealthy products are likely to face increasing regulation and limitations on marketing of unhealthy foods.5

Nutrition is therefore one of our global stewardship sub-themes, under the umbrella of Health. We draw on all the tools we have as stewards of our clients’ assets to positively influence this critical issue. You can read more in our Health policy here.

Next steps

Shareholder resolutions are a significant escalation in terms of drawing a public acknowledgement and a response from a company. Because of the public attention they generate, resolutions can be a powerful way of increasing pressure on companies to take action.

We consider extremely carefully whether to co-file a shareholder resolution and what role it plays within our own escalation, as part of our stewardship engagement. The shareholder resolution sets out our expectations, in which we join ShareAction and our peers.

Nestlé’s AGM is scheduled for 18 April 2024. Following the AGM, we will continue our dialogue with Nestlé on steps to address the concerns set out above, both collaboratively and individually.

*For illustrative purposes only. Reference to a particular security is on a historic basis and does not mean that the security is currently held or will be held within an LGIM portfolio. The above information does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any security.


1. The 10 largest food manufacturers in the world by revenue - FoodIndustry.Com

2. See application of the Health Star Rating, section 2, introductory paragraph, here: HSR System Calculator and Style Guide v8.pdf (healthstarrating.gov.au) or here: Health Star Rating - How to use Health Star Ratings

3. Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition (2016) Technical Brief No.3: The Cost of Malnutrition – Why Policy Action is Urgent. London: Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition. Available at: https://glopan.org/sites/default/files/pictures/CostOfMalnutrition.pdf

4. Governmental policies to reduce unhealthy food marketing to children, Nutr Rev; 77(11): 787–816; available here: Governmental policies to reduce unhealthy food marketing to children - PMC (nih.gov)

World Bank (2020) Taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages: international evidence and experiences. Washington, D.C.: World Bank: https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/33969/Support-for-Sugary-Drinks-Taxes-Taxes-on-Sugar-Sweetened-Beverages-Summary-of-International-Evidence-and-Experiences.pdf?sequence=6

(Accessed 18 March 2024)

5. https://www.lgimblog.com/categories/esg-and-long-term-themes/tackling-obesity-as-an-esg-issue/

Investment Stewardship team


Our Investment Stewardship team comprises professionals with experience in areas including responsible investment, corporate governance, and public policy. The team is made up of both sector specialists and experts on ESG themes, such as sustainability, and has a global remit with members in the UK, Japan and the US. The team exercises LGIM’s voting rights globally, holding companies to account. In 2020, LGIM cast over 138,600 votes at over 14,000 meetings.

Investment Stewardship team