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Nestlé accused of double standards over added sugar in baby products sold in poorer countries

BMJ 2024; 385 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.q898 (Published 18 April 2024) Cite this as: BMJ 2024;385:q898
  1. Jacqui Thornton
  1. London

Baby food manufacturer Nestlé has been accused of “unjustifiable” double standards after an investigation found that it added high levels of sugar to cereals for children sold in lower income countries.

In contrast, infant formula and cereal sold in Switzerland, where the company has its headquarters, contained no added sugar, the investigation by Public Eye and the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) found.1

The campaigning organisations examined Cerelac and Nido products marketed in lower income countries. Cerelac is the world’s number one baby cereal brand, with sales exceeding $1bn in 2022, according to global market research company Euromonitor.

The Public Eye and IBFAN investigation found that in Senegal and South Africa, Cerelac biscuit flavoured cereals contained 6 g of added sugar a serving. In Switzerland, Nestlé promotes its similarly flavoured cereals for babies aged from 6 months with the claim they contain “no added sugar.”

Cerelac wheat based cereals for …

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