No more stealth? Speaking out on sodium reduction

By Caroline Scott-Thomas in Boston

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Sodium, Nutrition

Nestle Prepared Foods Company is one of many food manufacturers to announce a bold sodium reduction strategy, recently pledging to slash sodium in its products by ten percent by 2015. The company's manager of marketing communications told FoodNavigator-USA why now is the time to talk about sodium reduction.

Rosalyn O'Hearn said that Nestle Prepared Foods has been cutting sodium behind the scenes for some time - but it wanted to gauge consumer reaction before going public with its reduction strategy. She said that consumer tastes are gradually changing to prefer lower sodium products, as food companies' efforts to stealthily reduce sodium have allowed their palates to adjust.

Pressure on food manufacturers to reduce sodium is likely to intensify with the release of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which are expected to include an upper recommendation of 1,500mg of sodium a day, as opposed to the current 2,300mg limit. O'Hearn said that the guidelines provide important information for food manufacturers and are likely to influence product development, but consumer acceptance is still key, and Nestle will continue to focus on meeting consumer demands.

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