October 13th, 2011
12:01 AM ET

Healthier foods earn healthier profits

Foods that are good for the waistline are also good for the bottom line.  That’s the conclusion of a report out Thursday from the Hudson Institute, a non-partisan policy research organization.

The Hudson Institute’s Obesity Solutions Initiative found the food and beverage companies with the most “better for you” products grew faster, had higher profits and superior shareholder returns over the last five years.

Hank Cardello, a former food company executive and lead author, said the report was the first to look at profitability of healthier products in terms CEOs can understand.

“It’s always been a moral argument as opposed to a business argument why it makes sense to move in that direction,” Cardello said.

The report analyzed 15 of the largest food and beverage companies, including Coke, Pepsi, General Mills, Kellogg’s, General Mills, Nestle, Dannon, Nabisco and Campbell Soup.

On average, 38.6 percent of the sales were from foods and beverages deemed “better for you.” The remaining foods and beverages were classified as “traditional.”

Companies with above-average sales were compared with those below average. The companies that sold more “better for you” products reported almost double the profit margin and stock performance. “Better for you” products also accounted for almost three-quarters of sales growth.

But  Michele Simon, author of "Appetite for Profit: How the Food Industry Undermines Our Health and How to Fight Back," said the growth figures give a false impression.

“The higher growth is usually because these are newer products, which tend to do better in growth figures, so it’s somewhat misleading to even say ‘better for you’ products are growing faster when they may just be newer,” Simon said in an e-mail.

The report categorized  “better for you” products as “lite foods” such as Nestle’s Lean Cuisine, Coca-Cola Zero and Tropicana 50 and “good foods,” such as General Mills’ Cheerios, Dannon Yogurt and Campbell’s Tomato Soup.

“Traditional foods” included Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes, Hellmann’s Mayonnaise, Coke and Tropicana orange juice.

Marion Nestle, a New York University professor and author of "Food Politics," said “better for you” is a relative term.

“Just because it’s better for you doesn’t mean it’s good for you,” she said. “What people should really be eating is real foods, not packaged foods, from a nutritional standpoint.”

Cardello said he hopes the report, underwritten by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation,  will prompt companies to place more emphasis on “better for you” foods and beverages and accelerate development of more nutritious products.

“I certainly think it gives ammunition to C suites and their boards to move in this direction,” said Cardello, director of the Obesity Solutions Initiative. “We’re not saying walk away from what you have. We’re just saying as a growth mechanism, this is very enticing.”

The mission of the Obesity Solutions Initiative is to come up with practical, market-based solutions to the world's obesity epidemic.

The Hudson Institute did not release rankings of how the individual companies fared in terms of sales of “better for you” versus “traditional” foods and beverages.

soundoff (685 Responses)
  1. smoke shops near me


    June 16, 2021 at 23:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Jessie Bonder

    The root of your writing while appearing reasonable at first, did not really work very well with me after some time. Someplace within the sentences you actually managed to make me a believer unfortunately only for a short while. I however have got a problem with your jumps in assumptions and one might do well to fill in all those gaps. In the event you can accomplish that, I would surely be impressed.


    June 16, 2021 at 23:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. RV Repair California


    June 16, 2021 at 23:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. RV Repair Orange County California


    June 17, 2021 at 04:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. RV Repair Orange County California


    June 17, 2021 at 05:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Camper Repair Shop Near Me

    You're so interesting! I do not suppose I've read through anything like this before. So wonderful to discover another person with some genuine thoughts on this topic. Really.. thank you for starting this up. This website is one thing that is needed on the internet, someone with a bit of originality!


    June 17, 2021 at 05:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Camper Repair Places Near Me


    June 17, 2021 at 08:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. ups near me


    June 17, 2021 at 19:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. moneygram near me


    June 17, 2021 at 20:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. marshalls near me


    June 17, 2021 at 21:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. harbor freight near me


    June 17, 2021 at 23:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Evelyne Serena

    I am really loving the theme/design of your web site. Do you ever run into any web browser compatibility issues? A few of my blog audience have complained about my website not working correctly in Explorer but looks great in Safari. Do you have any tips to help fix this issue?


    June 17, 2021 at 23:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. suntrust near me

    A fascinating discussion is worth comment. I do think that you ought to publish more on this subject, it might not be a taboo matter but usually people don't talk about these issues. To the next! Many thanks!!


    June 18, 2021 at 01:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. wings near me


    June 18, 2021 at 02:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. kroger near me


    June 18, 2021 at 04:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. apartments near me

    Hello, I think your website could be having web browser compatibility issues. When I look at your website in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in I.E., it's got some overlapping issues. I merely wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other than that, fantastic site!


    June 18, 2021 at 05:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. landscapers near me


    June 18, 2021 at 07:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. napa auto parts near me

    A motivating discussion is definitely worth comment. I do believe that you should write more about this topic, it might not be a taboo matter but usually people do not speak about such issues. To the next! Cheers!!


    June 18, 2021 at 07:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. junkyards near me

    Very good info. Lucky me I came across your blog by accident (stumbleupon). I've bookmarked it for later!


    June 18, 2021 at 09:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Camper Repair Shops Near Me


    June 18, 2021 at 11:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. basement repairs near me

    A motivating discussion is worth comment. I believe that you need to write more on this subject, it may not be a taboo matter but usually people don't discuss these issues. To the next! Kind regards!!


    June 18, 2021 at 15:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. RV Repair Near Me Now


    June 18, 2021 at 19:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Camper Repairs Near Me


    June 18, 2021 at 22:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. RV Repairs Near Me

    This is a topic that's near to my heart... Cheers! Exactly where are your contact details though?


    June 18, 2021 at 23:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Camper Repair Near Me


    June 19, 2021 at 00:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. RV Repair San Clemente California

    The next time I read a blog, I hope that it does not disappoint me as much as this particular one. After all, I know it was my choice to read through, but I truly believed you would have something helpful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of moaning about something that you can fix if you were not too busy looking for attention.


    June 19, 2021 at 00:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. RV Repair Places Near Me

    Great web site you have got here.. Itís difficult to find high-quality writing like yours these days. I truly appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!


    June 19, 2021 at 03:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Camper Repair Shops Near Me

    I blog often and I really appreciate your information. The article has really peaked my interest. I will take a note of your blog and keep checking for new details about once a week. I subscribed to your RSS feed as well.


    June 19, 2021 at 04:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Sprinter Repair Near Me


    June 19, 2021 at 05:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. entry level jobs near me


    June 19, 2021 at 10:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. RV Repair Fountain Valley

    Having read this I thought it was very enlightening. I appreciate you taking the time and effort to put this short article together. I once again find myself personally spending a lot of time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worthwhile!


    June 19, 2021 at 10:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. RV Repair San Clemente California


    June 19, 2021 at 10:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. RV Repairs Near Me

    Everything is very open with a precise explanation of the challenges. It was definitely informative. Your site is useful. Many thanks for sharing!


    June 19, 2021 at 12:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Camper Repair Places Near Me


    June 19, 2021 at 13:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Nearest RV Repair

    Excellent site you have got here.. Itís hard to find excellent writing like yours these days. I truly appreciate people like you! Take care!!


    June 19, 2021 at 14:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. RV Repair Shop Near Me

    Spot on with this write-up, I truly believe this amazing site needs far more attention. Iíll probably be back again to read through more, thanks for the information!


    June 19, 2021 at 18:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. RV Repair Garden Grove

    After exploring a number of the blog posts on your blog, I honestly appreciate your way of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark webpage list and will be checking back in the near future. Please visit my website as well and let me know what you think.


    June 19, 2021 at 19:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Nearby RV Repair

    I was more than happy to discover this page. I wanted to thank you for ones time just for this wonderful read!! I definitely loved every part of it and i also have you saved as a favorite to look at new information in your web site.


    June 19, 2021 at 22:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. RV Repair Near Me


    June 19, 2021 at 22:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. RV Repair Huntington Beach

    I really like reading through a post that can make men and women think. Also, many thanks for permitting me to comment!


    June 19, 2021 at 22:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. RV Repair Shop Near Me

    Hi, I do believe this is a great site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I'm going to come back yet again since i have saved as a favorite it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to help other people.


    June 19, 2021 at 22:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. RV Repair Near Me


    June 19, 2021 at 23:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. visit here

    Hi, I do believe this is an excellent website. I stumbledupon it 😉 I may revisit once again since i have saved as a favorite it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide others.


    June 20, 2021 at 00:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Charles

    You made some decent points there. I did a search on the subject matter and found most persons will approve with your website.


    June 20, 2021 at 01:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Internet Marketing Firms

    Pretty! This has been an incredibly wonderful post. Many thanks for providing this info.


    June 20, 2021 at 02:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Content Marketing Business


    June 20, 2021 at 05:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Video Marketing Service

    The very next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesn't fail me as much as this particular one. After all, I know it was my choice to read through, however I actually thought you would probably have something helpful to say. All I hear is a bunch of crying about something you could possibly fix if you were not too busy seeking attention.


    June 20, 2021 at 05:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Internet Marketing Mechanics

    I love reading through a post that will make people think. Also, many thanks for allowing me to comment!


    June 20, 2021 at 05:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Google Marketing Services

    May I simply just say what a relief to discover a person that truly knows what they are discussing on the web. You definitely understand how to bring a problem to light and make it important. A lot more people have to read this and understand this side of the story. It's surprising you're not more popular since you definitely have the gift.


    June 20, 2021 at 06:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Local Marketing Firm


    June 20, 2021 at 09:07 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

Leave a Reply to bathroom repair near me


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.