Sodium and salt levels in foods and beverages are on the mind of every person involved in the U.S. food and beverage industry. Why? Various health and consumer groups are making a lot of noise on Capitol Hill. They are blaming the high level of “added” sodium in packaged retail products and foodservice menu items for record high-blood pressures of Americans. They argue that high-blood pressure is a precursor to heart disease, and ultimately death.
Other countries, most notably the United Kingdom, have implemented serious regulations regarding sodium and salt contents of foods and beverages in efforts to pursue improvement in health and wellness. All fingers point to the United States.
The FDA is already getting involved, which raises concerns for food and beverage manufacturers. Efforts are underway to reformulate current key product lines—reducing and replacing sodium with other flavor-enhancing and functional ingredients. New products are starting out with lower levels of sodium.
The information in this report was obtained from both primary and secondary research. Primary research entailed in-depth, on-site examinations of supermarkets, drug stores, mass merchandisers, convenience stores (c-stores), health/natural foods stores, specialty stores, and club stores. Company, distributor, and retailer interviews were conducted to obtain information on new product and packaging trends, marketing programs, distribution methods, and technological breakthroughs. Secondary research entailed data gathering from relevant sources. Included were consumer and industry publications, newspapers, government reports, financial reports, company literature, and corporate annual reports.
What You’ll Get in this Report
Market Trend: Low, Reduced and No Sodium or Salt Foods and Beverages in the U.S. examines the U.S. retail market for foods and beverages flagging sodium content. It covers any product that has a label where either a sodium content claim (e.g., “low in sodium,” “reduced sodium,” etc.) is made, or actual sodium content is flagged on a secondary spot on the label (e.g., 550 milligrams of sodium per serving), in addition to the required listing on the Nutrition Facts. It also includes products with statements such as “no-salt-added,” “salt-free” and “lightly salted.”
Packaged Facts determined there are seven product categories that will experience the greatest increase in sodium and salt content claims. These are:
Packaged Facts projects that sales for all sodium content foods and beverages will continue to grow, but their percent share of the business will change as more players enter the marketplace. The forerunners—canned vegetables and soups—will continue to have healthy growth but they will lose share to the other categories, most notably grains/snacks and meat/fish/entrées.