Our Methodology 2021

To assess the progress of PHA partner commitments, we work with a team of external verifiers, including:

  • Altarum
  • Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Hudson Institute
  • Keybridge
  • Leading Health, LLC
  • Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity

Methodology - Corporate Partners and Commitments

PepsiCo’s progress towards meeting goals to reduce added sugars in its beverage portfolio and reduce sodium and saturated fat in its convenient foods portfolio was reviewed by Altarum, a nonprofit research and consulting organization hired by Partnership for a Healthier America to serve as an independent verifier for partnership commitments. During a virtual meeting held in May 2022, an Altarum staff member reviewed SKU-level data on beverages and convenient foods sold in PepsiCo’s top global beverage markets and top global convenient foods markets, as well as governance documents detailing the methodology used by PepsiCo to determine the total beverage and convenient foods volumes sold in these markets and nutritional information related to products sold in these markets, including definitions, assumptions, calculations, and rounding procedures. Product data and methods were reviewed for completeness against guidelines agreed upon by PepsiCo and Partnership for a Healthier America, as well as publicly available information on PepsiCo products. Calculations were reviewed for accuracy and reproducibility using a random sample of U.S. beverage and convenient foods products from PepsiCo’s portfolio and publicly available data on nutrients in the selected products.

In 2016, PepsiCo reported progress towards meeting its nutrition goals based on data from its top 10 global beverage markets (representing 63% of global beverage volume sold as of 2016) and its top 10 global convenient foods markets (representing 79% of global convenient foods volume sold as of 2016). Beginning in 2017, PepsiCo expanded reporting to include its top 26 global beverage markets and top 23 convenient foods markets. During the 2022 virtual meeting, Altarum reviewed 2021 data for the expanded top 26 global beverage markets (representing 79% of global beverage volume sold as of 2021)and top 23 global convenient foods markets(representing 86% of global convenient foods volume sold as of 2021).

To calculate the share of offerings that meet the NAMA nutrition standard in an average machine, Keybridge collects data that identify the products available in each vending machine operated by participating NAMA members. The products in those machines are matched with nutrition information from a separate dataset and then categorized as a beverage, snack, or food. The nutrition information for each product is measured against nutrition standards used by five different government and nonprofit organizations: USDA, CDC, CSPI, AHA, and PHA. Products that meet two or more of those standards meet the NAMA standard. After this determination is made for each product, the share of offerings that meet the standard is calculated for every machine and then averaged across all machines.

Progress on commitments made by Kum & Go was determined by reviewing inventory reports, sales data and photos from stores to confirm that a minimum number of types of fruits, vegetables, whole grain products and low-fat dairy options were available with pricing that incentivized their purchase. Verifiers reviewed store planograms and spreadsheets of products’ nutritional information to ensure stores offered a minimum number of beverages that met PHA’s definition of a Healthier Beverage Product Criteria. Companies provided examples of store signage, marketing materials and web pages to illustrate how healthier foods and beverages were promoted in the store and through a customer loyalty program. Verifiers reviewed employee handbooks, policies, and employee communications to confirm commitment elements around wellness programming and healthy employee benefits.

To measure progress on food and beverage distributor, Harbor Wholesale Foods provided lists of all products that meet PHA’s healthier food and beverage product criteria, sell sheets and access to or screen shots of online ordering websites and online mobile ordering applications. Companies provided planograms and merchandizers, nutrition information and recipes for private label products and examples of marketing including promotional product materials, web pages, web banners and social media posts for verification. Verifiers also reviewed policies, memos, newsletters and promotional materials on employee health and wellness activities and each company’s healthier food catering guides.

Methodology - Good Food for All

To continue to improve the Good Food for All program and measure its impact, participants completed pre, post, and follow-up surveys from Altarum about produce consumption and habits. The data will be used to showcase unmet demand for fresh produce and to create opportunities for food retailers to meet demand at an affordable price point.

Methodology - Healthy Hunger Relief

Healthy Hunger Relief partners will receive support from PHA to implement a comprehensive nutrition ranking system, developed by an expert panel led by RWJF’s Healthy Eating Research, over the next two years. In addition, PHA will provide technical assistance to help partners understand the nutritional quality of their inventory and make strategic decisions within and across food categories to improve nutritional quality, enhancing food equity for the communities they serve. This support includes the recently developed Healthy Hunger Relief Index, an internal survey and personalized progress report to help food banks make lasting health-focused organizational change.

Methodology - Pass the Love

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) held focus groups, disseminated surveys, and conducted informational interviews to evaluate the ‘Pass the Love’ campaign. Results will assess the campaign’s impact uplifting food-insecure families, teaching new cooking skills, and fostering healthier habits.

Methodology - Veggies Early & Often

To assess progress on Nurture Life and Good Feeding commitments, verifiers reviewed product ingredient lists and nutrition facts panels to ensure products available provided vegetable servings and limits on saturated fat, added sugars and salt. Parent education campaign materials, websites, videos, and social media posts were reviewed for accuracy and consistency with the Veggies Early & Often Initiative goals.

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