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Table 6 Big Formula’s corporate nutrition research divisions and philanthropic units, their research capabilities and listed activities

From: Globalization, first-foods systems transformations and corporate power: a synthesis of literature and data on the market and political practices of the transnational baby food industry

Corporation Nestlé Danone RBMJ Abbott RFC
Corporate nutrition research divisions
Nutrition research division Nestlé Nutrition Institute (1981)
(Not-for-profit association)
Danone Institute International (1991)
(Non-profit organizations)
Mead Johnson Pediatric Nutrition Institute Abbott Nutrition Health Institute (2007) FrieslandCampina Institute (2001)
Statement of purpose, aim or mission ‘To bring nutrition science to life through the people who live it; connecting a world of healthcare providers, generating discussion and encouraging relevant conversations.’ ‘… to promote human health by developing and disseminating knowledge about the links between food and human health, and to highlight the importance of nutrition in human health.’ ‘… deliver products with an uncompromising commitment to quality and safety … connects innovative scientific technology and research with cutting-edge manufacturing and quality processes.’ ‘… to connect and empower people through science-based nutrition resources to optimize health worldwide.' ‘… shares knowledge and expertise on the nutritional properties of milk and dairy products with nutrition and health professionals, to improve the health and well-being of people worldwide.’
Statement of capability ‘The world’s largest private food and nutrition research organisation, involving around 5000 people located in around 30 R&D facilities worldwide.’ ‘… network of 14 Danone Institutes (13 local Institutes and 1 International) … present in 15 countries and gather around 200 experts around the World (nutritionists, pediatricians, gastroenterologists, scientists, sociologists …)’ ‘… growing global network of … scientists, research laboratories and facilities … Since 2010 … four new MJPNI research and development technology centers … in the U.S., Mexico, China and Singapore.’ ‘Today we support and empower half a million healthcare professionals and the millions of patients they serve.’ ‘… approximately 600 … experts across the world’; Institutes in North America, Europe (Netherlands), Asia (Singapore), and Africa; partnerships with dietetic associations, universities and dairy industry communication platforms
Relevant activities listed on website Digital platform for sharing free resources and content; accredited e-learning & continuing medical education programs; workshops and symposia presentations at congresses; research fellowships in paediatric nutrition and gastroenterology. Research support through ‘credits, grants, awards, fellowships and scholarships’; including ‘more than 20 different research support programs in 12 countries’; nutrition research prizes; conferences and symposia; publications; nutrition education tools for children. Research and development; medical education grants provides grant funding for continuing medical education; provides child nutrition advice for parents. Continuing medical education via online forum, blog site, certificates of training; materials on therapeutic pediatric nutrition; podcasts, webinars and videos on various pediatric nutrition and feeding topics; infographics, scientific articles and briefs. Stimulating scientific debate and sharing knowledge; engaging governments, NGOs, institutes, scientists and nutrition & health professionals; provides accredited continuing education programs, scientific information, and practical tools.
Corporate philanthropic units
 Philanthropic unit Nestlé Foundation for the Study of Problems of Nutrition (1966) Social Innovation Funds RB Fight for Access Fund
The Abbott Fund
Status Philanthropic foundation Various Philanthropic foundation Philanthropic foundation
Focus Initiates and supports research in human nutrition with public-health relevance in LMICs on maternal and child nutrition, including breastfeeding and complementary feeding; nutrient deficiencies and imbalances; interactions between infection and nutrition; and nutrition education and health promotion. ‘We want to support people in adopting healthier and more sustainable eating and drinking practices, and we want to do this in a way that is aligned with our long term commitment to economic success and social progress. ‘ ‘To improve access to health, hygiene and nutrition for all. The Fund is, and will, be a demonstration of our Purpose and Fight in action- to protect, heal and nurture in the relentless pursuit of a cleaner, healthier world.’ ‘We invest in innovative ideas that expand access to health care, strengthen communities where we live and operate, and promote science and medical education. In partnership with others, we strive to make a lasting impact on people’s lives and encourage others to take positive action.’
  1. Notes: Data sourced from company websites and reports