Nestlé‘s DiGiorno Pizza

overall rating:

1.5

planets

Ilia Borromeo
12/17/2021
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Nestlé is a multinational conglomerate food and drink processing company from Switzerland and is one of the most wealthy, and successful, food companies out there due to the successful consistency of their slogan: ‘good food, good life.’ Founded in 1866 by Henry Nestlé, the company originally started with only making baby formula, but then exploded towards globalization in over 197 different countries by owning product brands in almost all sectors of life such as food, drinks, pet care, nutrition, water, and nutritional health science (Nestlé). One of the conglomerate’s most notable food items - beloved by many - includes their DIGIORNO® Pizza. DIGIORNO® is a premade pizza that provides a quick and easy way to provide sustenance at parties and social gatherings, to simply providing a fast yet gourmet dinner for the family. DIGIORNO® Pizza has grown to become the #1 selling frozen pizza brand in the United States. The pizzas range from a price of $6 to 8 dollars and are ready to eat after cooking for 25 minutes, as they understand the necessity of convenience for their consumers. The products contain milk, wheat, or soybean which are one of the 8 common allergens in general food products. 

What it's made of:

1.5

In terms of its packaging, Nestlé has claimed that they have saved over 49,000 trees a year by avoiding the need for the flat circle base packaging component of the pizza. The purpose of changing their packaging was to reduce the number of materials needed while at the same time still finding a way to protect their product. This change alone discarded the need to create 4.5 million pounds of corrugated paper. 
In terms of ingredients, frozen sold products including frozen pizzas will tend to have way more ingredients than just the simple dough, tomato sauce, cheese, and other common pizza toppings. Additives tend to be included in products in order to preserve the product through both transportation and storage. The wheat flour, pizza toppings, and flavoring of all DIGIORNO® Pizzas consist of BHA(butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT(butylated hydroxytoluene, which were researched by three separate review studies that concluded that both additives are of high concern due to impacting developmental effects and being a tumor promoter (EWG). Back in September 2021, over 28,000 pounds of the DIGIORNO® Crispy Pan Crust Pizza was recalled due to misbranding and undeclared allergen of soy being incorporated into the pizza. The act alone of releasing this product to the public if not recalled soon enough would have caused major health issues to its customers with food allergies.  

How it's made:

0

When looking at how exactly the ingredients are sourced and how they are maintained, it was quite disappointing to discover. DIGIORNO® Pizza received an EWG Food Report of 10.0, the worst score from 1-10 that a company can receive on a product. An EWG(Environmental Working Group) food report analyzes and considers the nutritional concerns for how healthy a product is for the consumer to eat; ingredient concerns like whether food additives, antibiotics, and contaminants are added, and processing concerns as the less processed and natural the better (EWG). The top findings EWG found from DIGIORNO® Pizza was that the product is not “certified organic, contains food additives of high concern, likely uses antibiotics/hormones/growth promoters on their meat, and one ingredient associated with cancer” (EWG). Companies commonly tend to add false and vague statements about their products labeling them terms such as organic, eco-friendly, pure, and natural, when really these words are quite misleading to how the product is actually made. Additionally, the fact that the product uses beef and pork signifies they are choosing less sustainable ingredient options as those two ingredients, relative to other types of meat, both contain the highest carbon footprint in terms of when they become processed. 

Who makes it:

1.5

DIGIORNO® Pizza is made in the headquarters of Nestlé Pizza Division in Northbrook, Illinois. Nestlé Pizza Division has made a plethora of other DIGIORNO® Pizzas such as not only the classic cheese pizza, but also including cheese stuffed crust, thin crust, and ultimate toppings just to name a few. This division is also responsible for other notable pizza brands such as CALIFORNIA PIZZA KITCHEN®, TOMBSTONE®, and JACK’S®. In terms of sustainability, Nestlé stated that they were launching a “$250 million sustainable packaging venture fund to invest in start-up companies” (Medium). These start-up companies are supported with the intent and hope for them to create more sustainability in terms of producing both more sustainable packaging as well as sustainable products. Nestlé has also invested over $30 million for the Closed Loop Leadership Fund, which is about shifting from newly created virgin plastics to recycled and reused food-grade plastics (Nestlé). In terms of how Nestlé treats their workers, they state that they consistently maintain their policies through their chain of production by upholding human rights standards that align with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. These principles enforce the values on the three pillars that consist of “the state's duty to protect human rights, the corporate due diligence obligation in terms of respecting human rights, and access to remedy and compensation” (UN). In the past, Nestlé has been known to use child labor in other aspects of production for their other products, including cocoa, but have improved from the past using more “monitoring and remediation” schemes through the Nestlé Cocoa Plan.