Nestle, underneath fireplace for unhealthy merchandise, is engaged on a brand new technique

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured on the Nestle Research Center at Vers-chez-les-Blanc in Lausanne, Switzerland on August 20, 2020. REUTERS / Denis Balibouse / File Photo

ZURICH (Reuters) – Nestle said Monday it was working on updating its nutrition and health strategy after the Financial Times reported an internal document from the food giant describing a large proportion of its foods and beverages as unhealthy.

The newspaper said that an internal presentation circulated among top executives earlier this year found that more than 60% of Nestle's mainstream food and beverage portfolio did not, according to an "accepted definition of health" can be considered healthy.

According to the paper, that assessment applied to about half of Nestle's total portfolio, as categories such as medical nutrition, pet food, coffee, and baby food were excluded from the analysis.

Jon Cox, an analyst at Kepler Cheuvreux, said that including these categories would significantly reduce the proportion of products that could be considered unhealthy.

"Given the group's candy, ice cream and pizza business, the real figure for the group would be 28% based on estimates by 2021, which is not a surprise," he said in a note. He said the report could indicate changes in the product portfolio, particularly an exit from the mainstream candy business.

Nestle said in a statement that it was working on a "company-wide project" to update its nutrition and health strategy and reviewing its entire portfolio to ensure its products help meet people's nutritional needs.

It said it had reduced sugar and sodium in its products by about 14-15% over the past seven years and would continue to make its products healthier.

Nestle shares rose 0.2% around 0951 GMT, broadly in line with the European food sector.

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