Private Sector

The food industry plays a critical role in shaping food environments and it has an important part to play in improving population diets and addressing obesity.

As part of the private sector module of INFORMAS, we seek to monitor and benchmark food industry actions, with a focus on their influence on the healthiness of food environments and efforts to improve population diets and address obesity.


To develop and implement standardised approaches to monitoring and evaluating the structure, policies and practices of the food industry

Expected outcomes:

  • Strengthen mechanisms to increase the accountability of the food industry for their role in improving population diets and addressing obesity
  • Inform government and food industry policies for improving population diets and addressing obesity
  • Build knowledge, tools and skills in monitoring, evaluation and advocacy related to public health

If you would like to contribute to the work on INFORMAS in this area, please get in touch with Gary Sacks or the other module leaders.

For the Module Overview video describing protocols, methodological developments, and common FAQs, please follow the link here.

Dr Gary Sacks

Gary Sacks (Coordinator)

Associate Professor, Deakin University, Australia

A/Director, Global Obesity Centre (GLOBE)

Email: Dr Gary Sacks


Stefanie Vandevijvere

Senior Scientist Nutrition and Health,

Scientific Institute of Public Health (Sciensano), Brussels, Belgium

Email: Stefanie Vandevijvere


Sally Mackay

Senior Research Fellow

The University of Auckland, New Zealand

Email: Sally Mackay

dr lana vanderleeLana Vanderlee

Assistant Professor

Université de Laval, Canada

Email: Lana Vanderlee


William Ng See Hoe

Taylor’s University, Malaysia

Email: Dr. William Ng See Hoe

Melissa Mialon

Trinity College Dublin

Email: Melissa Mialon

Our overall approach to monitoring and evaluating the structure, policies and practices of the food industry was laid out when INFORMAS was first established in 2013.

We have refined and extended our approach over time, and are consistently refining our methods and tools. Please get in touch with one of the module leaders to find out the latest developments, access detailed protocols, and to discuss implementing aspects of our approach.

The cornerstone of the private sector approach is the BIA-Obesity (Business Impact Assessment – Obesity and population nutrition) tool – click here for more details.

Monitoring component A. Industry and market structure B. Company policies and commitments related to nutrition C. Company practices related to nutrition D. Market-based strategies E. Non-market strategies (Corporate Political Activity)
Scope / Metrics
  • Market definition
  • Industry size and size of relevant markets
  • Number of active firms and their market share
  • Market concentration
  • Company ownership
  • Degree and nature of vertical integration
  • Corporate strategy related to nutrition
  • Product formulation
  • Nutrition labelling
  • Promotion to children and adolescents
  • Product accessibility
  • Relationships with external organisations
  • Composition of product portfolio
  • Implementation of nutrition labelling
  • Extent of promotion to children and adolescents
  • In-store environments (supermarkets and quick service restaurants)
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Creating and penetrating new markets
  • Raising barriers to market entry
  • Countering threats of market disruption
  • Increasing power over suppliers and/or buyers
  • Other strategies to reduce competition and maintain market dominance
  • Coalition management (building ties with third parties inside and outside the industry)
  • Information management
  • Direct involvement and influence in public policy
  • Legal strategies
  • Discursive strategies
Tools / Protocols
Contact person Ben Wood, Deakin University, Australia Gary Sacks, Deakin University, Australia;
Sally Mackay, University of Auckland, New Zealand
Lana Vanderlee, Université Laval, Canada Ben Wood, Deakin University, Australia Melissa Mialon, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

Use of protocols

Please read the terms and conditions regarding the use of the protocols. You must complete and return this agreement if you are using and/or adapting protocols.

You may use, modify and reproduce protocols, but the work that results from using the INFORMAS resources remains available to the INFORMAS group and falls under the same copyleft principles as the original protocol (i.e., you can’t claim copyright on protocols you develop based on INFORMAS resources).

You don’t have to share the whole work that results from using the INFORMAS resources, but are expected to share:

  • Any modifications or updates you make to the protocol (e.g., updates for your own country)
  • The final (cleaned) data as collected using the protocol

Aspects of the INFORMAS private sector module have been implemented in a wide range of countries since 2013. Please get in touch with one of the module leaders to discuss further implementation opportunities and plans.

Country / RegionA. Industry and market structureB. Company policies and commitments related to nutritionC. Company practices related to nutritionD. Market-based strategiesE. Non-market strategies (Corporate Political Activity)
Asia Pacific
Regional· Australia, New Zealand and Fiji - Food industry (2015)· Soft drinks industry: planned for 2022
Australia· Food manufacturers (2018)
· Supermarkets (2018)
· Quick service restaurants (2018)
· Journal article (2018)
· Website
· State of the Food Supply (2020)
· State of the Fast Food Supply (2020)
· Healthiness of Australian supermarkets (2020)
· Food industry
Fiji· Food industry
Malaysia· Technical report (2019)
· Journal article (2019)
New Zealand· Report (2018)
· Journal article (2018)
· State of the Food Supply (2019)
Thailand· Food industry (2019)· Food industry (2018)
Regional· Mapping of the food industry in Europe (2021)· Lobbying (2019)
Belgium· Supermarkets: in progress (2021)
France· Supermarkets: in progress (2021)· Dairy industry (2017)
· Food industry (2018)
Regional· Latin America and the Caribbean - Ultra-processed food manufacturers (2019)
Canada· Food and non-alcoholic beverage manufacturers:
- Report (2019)
- Reformulation actions and commitments (2020)
· Restaurants: planned for 2022
· Supermarkets: planned for 2022
· Nutritional quality of the product portfolios of packaged food and beverage companies (2020)· Food industry (2020)
Chile· Food industry (2020)
Colombia· Food industry (2020 and 2021)
Mexico· Sugar-sweetened beverages industry (2020)
USA· Baby food industry (2020)
Senegal· Food industry: planned for 2022
South Africa· Food industry: planned for 2022· Food industry (2020)

Visit our Publications section to browse publications by module