The new soup range comes in four flavours: Chicken Noodle, Chicken Gumbo, Garden Vegetable and Minestrone. The new range has been certified by the American Heart Association.
"Serve a steaming bowl of soup with salad and bread and you have a tasty and satisfying lunch or dinner," said Ukonwa Kuzi-Orizu, Progresso marketing. "With Progresso ready to serve reduced sodium soups, the meal is nutritious, easy and delicious."
The launch comes just as the American Medical Association (AMA) added its voice to the clamor against excessive salt consumption. The association even voted in June to urge the government to revoke the substance's GRAS status.
Excess sodium has been shown to increase the chance of developing hypertension, heart disease, and stroke. And according to the AMA, most Americans consume two to three times the amount of sodium that is healthy, with an estimated 75 to 80 percent of the daily intake of sodium coming from processed and restaurant foods.
The AMA move marks the next step in a mounting campaign to reduce the salt content in food, a battle that has so far remained voluntary. But many food makers, such as General Mills-owned Progresso, have moved in responsive to growing consumer and regulatory concern.
Other manufacturers such as Campbell have also responded to demands for reduced salt products. The company has slashed the salt content of its soups by up to 45 percent through the use of an all-natural sea salt that undergoes a particular evaporation and crystallization process.
The company, which is said to have an exclusive deal with the salt supplier for five years, recently introduced the first products in its reformulated soup range at the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) show in Chicago.
Progresso is owned by General Mills, with annual worldwide net sales of $12.5 billion. Oter brands include Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Green Giant, Haagen-Dazs and Old El Paso.