Health and nutrition
South Africa's population is one of the least healthy globally, characterised by high levels of obesity, lifestyle-induced non-communicable disease (NCD) and persistent hunger and malnutrition. Close to 58% of men and 71% of women are either overweight or obese. Lifestyle-related diseases, such as heart disease and strokes, account for about 40% of all deaths. Increasing consumer and investor activism, and emerging regulatory interventions, reflect a growing concern to address the negative nutritional, health and environmental outcomes of the food system, placing greater pressure for industry action, transparency and accountability. The Covid-19 crisis has amplified these trends.
As a leading company in South Africa's food system, we recognise our role in shaping health and nutrition outcomes, and our responsibility and potential to improve these outcomes for our consumers and communities. We also believe that there are valuable business opportunities in driving innovation in the health and nutrition sector. By placing health and nutrition at the heart of our business innovation, while remaining responsive to other key market trends, we can both grow our business and contribute meaningfully to the achievement of our priority SDGs.
Our key initiatives to deliver on this commitment, are:
- Develop nutritional standards for our products that meet or exceed globally recognised nutritional guidelines
- Develop more nutritious, affordable food products, including fortification of new and existing products
- Leverage our brand and marketing activities to promote consumer nutrition and health awareness and inspire positive behaviour change
- Play a leading role in modern food labelling practices
Providing more nutritious, affordable products
Developing nutritional standards for our products
With malnutrition affecting a significant proportion of the populations we serve, we understand the important responsibility that comes with manufacturing quality staple foods such as bread and maize meal, particularly to people in lower-income categories. We monitor advances in nutrition and broader public health issues, including through World Health Organisation (WHO) and South African Department of Health, and regularly review and update our nutritional standards, so that our products meet or exceed globally recognised guidelines.
Towards achieving our target of ensuring our nutritional standards are updated to meet globally recognised guidelines, we have refreshed the Eat Well Live Well (EWLW) programme and updated the EWLW nutritional standards. These updated standards are being formalised through the Nutrition Information Centre of the University of Stellenbosch (NICUS). We have introduced a three-tier approach to categorising our products; indulgent, improved-for-you and good-for-you, and have begun to assess our product range against the set criteria.
Developing more nutritious, affordable products
Product and process innovation lies at the heart of our growth agenda. We have a robust innovation pipeline and have been working hard to combine the health, nutrition and convenience trends with increased affordability and value.
This year, we have taken deliberate steps to prioritise our innovation pipeline actions to better enable our marketing and Research and Development (R&D) teams to succeed. We have undertaken a product management review and run innovation workshops across many of our categories. We have aligned innovation development to sales and operations processes and rationalised the pipeline to target the development of those innovations with greatest potential for impact. Aligning with our health and nutrition strategy, we developed product design standards, including an R&D health and nutrition by design framework, fortification decision toolkit and updated Eat Well Live Well nutrition criteria, to establish clear internal protocols for developing healthier products. Towards establishing a baseline and setting a 2030 target for nutritious products as a percentage of our portfolio, we have begun implementation of a product lifecycle management (PLM) system. This system will enable us to articulate an appropriate baseline and empower us to design and track the nutritional development and performance of our products.
This year we have launched several new more nutritious and affordable products:
- We extended the snackification of our Jungle health range into cereal bars, and added new Jungle Plus flavours
- We added fruit juice as an ingredient into the Maynards and Jelly Tots ranges
- We launched Koo Black Beans
- We have reformulated our baby toiletries to be free of parabens, sulphates and colourants
- We launched the Purity Junior Snacking range suitable for growing little ones, that contain no preservatives, artificial flavours or colourants
- We launched new Hemp, Rooibos and Sensitive Ingrams products
Tiger Brands remains in full compliance with the latest sodium regulations in South Africa. We have also achieved significant sugar reduction across products in our Bakery, Cereals and Beverages portfolios, and remain fullycompliant with South African Revenue Service (SARS) requirements for the recent sugar tax.
Fortification of new and existing products
We fortify staple foods such as brown and white bread, wheat flour, cake flour and maize meal, in alignment with South African regulations. These are fortified with key vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B9 (folic acid), iron and zinc. Amendments to the national regulations stipulating the amounts of these vitamins and minerals, including the appropriate type of Iron to be used, are currently pending approval. We are contributing through our knowledge to the formulation of the new fortification guidelines. Once these regulations are published, we will ensure that our affected products comply.
We voluntarily enrich other products, such as Morvite, certain Jungle cereals and Ace Instant, with micronutrients that are commonly deficient in South African diets. We also develop fortified products that target a specific nutritional health improvement, such as Purity Junior snacking cereals and biscuits, which are enriched with B-vitamins to assist in releasing energy, and which has been specifically developed to provide micronutrients that support immune function. Currently, we have delivered micronutrient enrichment across >30% of our portfolio (as measured by net sales), predominantly in our Grains products.
Play a leading role on nutrition food labelling
We are committed to playing a leading role on nutrition food-labelling of our products to make it easier for consumers to make informed choices on their food intake. An example of this is where we declare the amount of beta glucan (insoluble fibre) on certain oats for heart-health benefits, as well as the glycaemic-index and glycaemicload for sustained energy.
General labelling, as well as declaration of certain ingredients and allergens is regulated, and we remain in full compliance with this.
Towards establishing a baseline and to set a 2030 target for full-compliance with the new South African front-ofpack nutrition labelling regulations, we are ensuring full adherence to the on-pack food labelling requirements of our Eat Well Live Well (EWLW) and Be-Nutrient-Wise initiatives. We have begun re-structuring label architectures and artwork across various brands to accommodate for more nutrition information, and we have launched portioncontrol messaging on the back-of-packs for Jelly Tots, mmmMallows and Allsorts in the snacks and treats category.
Leveraging our brand and marketing to inspire positive behaviour change
As a large food manufacturer, we are aware of the significant impact that our products have on the nutrition, health and wellbeing of consumers. As a leading company, with many historic and well-loved household brand names in our portfolio, we are also aware of the unique position we are in, to leverage our brand to inspire positive behaviour change in South Africa. We are dedicated to building the integrity of our brands, to mainstreaming the delivery of healthier options to consumers, and to helping them make healthier choices.
We are working on this through driving innovative relationships internally, and through working in partnership with government, academia and NGOs through our Eat Well Live Well programme. We are building brand value and trust, and supporting healthier food options and choices, through helping to lead national guidelines, complying early and fully with these national health regulations and taxes, taking a lead the development of transparent nutrition labelling, and driving awareness and education through school, community and on-product activations.
Towards establishing a baseline and setting a 2030 target for health and nutrition marketing activations and impact, we have begun to re-position key brands and products in relation to their flagship health and nutrition attributes. We have begun re-structuring label architectures and artwork and introduced clear and simple consumer-relevant health claims for brands, including Jungle (for heart health), Ace maizemeal (for fibre), Morvite (for immunity) and Albany (for enhanced on-pack communication of nutritional benefits).
The Eat Well Live Well programme
Initiated by Tiger Brands in 2009, the Eat Well Live Well (EWLW) programme is designed to help consumers make better food choices, so that healthy living becomes easier. Through EWLW, Tiger Brands was the first South African company to voluntarily act on making key nutrition information available "on-pack" on product labels. We designed and implemented the EWLW nutrition-labelling system that includes the guideline daily amount (GDA) table on a number of Tiger Brands products (www.ewlw.co.za).
In 2015, we started to introduce the Be-Nutrient-Wise GDA system on the front of some of our packs. Its logo alerts consumers to be mindful of the five nutrients that have an impact on non-communicable diseases, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and some cancers. To give the initiative a strong identity and leverage the power of our brands to raise nutrition awareness through EWLW, we established a unique EWLW brand icon that is only featured on products that constitute better food choices for overall health.
We built and operate a website, where consumers can learn about incorporating healthy eating into their lifestyle (www.ewlw.co.za). EWLW is active online via our website and Facebook (www.facebook.com/EatwellLivewellSA/), where consumers have access to support from our nutritionist and can interact with each other. To date, we have approximately 130 000 followers.
To accelerate Tiger Brands' transformation and to be recognised as a thought-leader on health and nutrition in Africa, we have refreshed the Eat Well Live Well (EWLW) programme in 2020. We continue to develop and evaluate products to meet the "good for you" offerings, in line with the Eat Well Live Well nutritional standards. Current examples of products meeting the programme's stringent criteria include: Albany: low GI variants, and 100% smooth wholegrain brown bread; Koo: Baked Beans Lite; All Gold: Tomato Sauce Light; Black Cat: no-sugar, no-salt variants; Tastic Wholegrain Brown Rice; and Jungle Oats. This year, we achieved compliance with our Eat Well Live Well nutritional profile criteria across more than a quarter of our portfolio, when measured against net sales values.
Moving into FY21, we aim to build on this year's progress in the EWLW programme. Through our collaboration with NICUS and a strategic focus on targeting a few meaningful developments, we will continue to raise the visibility of nutritional information and the health benefits of our products.
The Purity App: a free parenting tool to boost baby-care and nutrition in South Africa
As one of the most iconic brands in the Tiger Brands portfolio, PURITY has been an integral part of South African families for generations, providing the essential nutrition, care, quality and support needed to raise happy and healthy children. This year, on 3 March 2020, Tiger Brands and Purity, through a partnership with Hello Doctor, launched the Purity App, a powerful and accessible digital tool that is tailored to address the challenges and questions of South African parents. The app took two years in the making and is based on careful social research, including hours of interviews with local parents and an extensive review of other existing parent-support literature, materials and programmes. The app is purpose-built to help parents navigate each milestone of their child's development and provides support that aligns with the initial stages of pregnancy, right through to the end of the first few most-formative years of a child's life. The feature-set includes educational answers to key parenting questions, 24/7 access to professional medical support, emergency contacts on dial, a tracking-tool to capture the child's progress and a journal for parents to capture their own journey.