by Marion Nestle

Currently browsing posts about: Reformulation

Nov 30 2023

FoodNavigator–Asia on product reformulation

FoodNavigator–Asia, a newsletter I subscribe to, publishes articles on reformulation and has now collected them in one place.

Reformulation is what happens when companies change the mix of food product ingredients to make them healthier—or at least to appear healthier-.  This is a highly effective sales strategy.

But reformulation raises philosophical questions:

  • Is a slightly better-for-you food product necessarily a good choice?
  • Does reformulation convert an unhealthy ultra-processed food product into a healthy one?
  • Is a food product with a gram or two less of sugar or salt likely to make any difference to your health?

Never mind.  Here’s what food companies are doing these days, at least in Asia.

Special Edition: Reformulation: Sugar, Salts, Fats and Oils

Governments across the region are continuing to enforce policies to reduce sugar, salts, fats, and certain oils. In this special edition, we’ll showcase the companies providing the most innovative solutions and brands at the forefront of this charge.

Dec 9 2021

Some recent articles on food product reformulation

What with all the pressure to make foods healthier, food manufacturers have been tweaking their products to reduce less healthful ingredients, especially salt and sugar.

Reformulated ultra-processed foods are still ultra-processed.

They raise the question: is a slightly healthier ultra-processed food a good choice?

These articles come from, which tracks the food industry in that part of the world.

Jun 24 2021

Do product reformulation strategies make any nutritional difference?

That’s my question when I see what food companies are trying to do to reduce the content of sugar and salt in their ultra-processed junk food products.

To put it another way, does making an ultra-processed food or beverage slightly better for you convert it to a good choice?

We can argue about this, but companies really are trying hard, as this collection of articles from indicates.

Special Edition: Nutrition and reformulation strategies

Most shoppers say they want to reduce consumption of products that are high in fat, salt and sugar. But many struggle to cut HFSS foods and beverages from their diets and reformulation efforts often face the headwind of perceived quality issues. Meanwhile, the fortified food market in Europe is expected to see a CAGR of 5.2% through to 2025. While reformulation efforts take out the ‘baddies’ is there also an opportunity to add positive nutrients through fortification?

Apr 14 2017

Weekend reading: Consumer Goods Forum progress report

The Consumer Goods Forum works with manufacturers and retailers to improve practices that benefit consumers such as food safety and health.

It has just released its latest Health & Wellness Progress report based on a survey it conducted in 2016.  The report is based on responses from 102 food, beverage, and retail companies.

The Forum encourages food companies to address health and wellness challenges: healthier products, the health of employees, consumer information, and responsible marketing.

I was particularly interested in seeing the results on product reformulation:

Here’s what’s being reformulated:

Will product reformulation make a difference to health?

Or, as some say, is it just another corporate political strategy, one aimed at diverting policies from moving towards mandatory approaches.

Product reformulation has been praised as a rare example of a “win-win” for the food and beverage industry and public health efforts to reduce obesity and NCDs [noncommunicable diseases], and has been described as a “pragmatic” nutrition policy…However [there are]…numerous reasons to suggest that voluntary reformulation also plays a role in the industry’s strategy to avoid unfavorable regulatory conditions, and this finding warrants significant consideration.