Unilever: ‘Now with x% less salt/sodium claims’ turn consumers off

By Elaine WATSON

- Last updated on GMT

Unilever: ‘Now with x% less salt/sodium claims’ turn consumers off
Regardless of what they tell you in surveys, many consumers react negatively to ‘low salt/sodium’ messaging on pack, underscoring the need for a stealthy approach to sodium reduction, says Unilever.

Speaking at the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics’ Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE) in Houston yesterday, Unilever senior nutrition manager Barbara Ledermann said: “Explicitly claiming x% less salt is not motivating for consumers.”

Indeed, such messaging can even influence taste perception, she said, citing recent research in which consumers asked to taste identical soups rated those featuring sodium labels as “less tasty​” (even though the sodium content was in fact identical).

Meanwhile, the results of a large international consumer survey published in the journal Appetite​ (click here​) in August revealed that one third of consumers are not interested in salt reduction, while the majority are blissfully unaware of recommended intakes in any given market, she said.

Finally, sodium intakes were also universally underestimated, with 72% of US respondents to the survey believing their intakes were in line with recommendations, when in fact almost all Americans are eating far too much sodium, said Ledermann, who advocated stealthy reductions over time to enable shoppers to adjust.  

Click here to read more news and analysis on sodium reduction.

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1 comment

Salt Reduction - Why Label it?

Posted by Christine Pennisi,

I have often supported the notion of reducing the sodium content in soups and other processed foods...but NOT publicize it to the consumer. It does not surprise me that labeling this reduction would deter sales, because folks that buy and eat them believe sodium makes it taste good! Sooo should we add back the salt? Heck no! I say make a small reduction in salt without telling. Most would not detect the difference, and their overall intake would be lowered.

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