One Thing Isn't Changing - Consumers Still Love Sea Salt
In our transformative food industry, one thing that isn’t changing is consumers’ strong affinity for sea salt.
A new 2019 study conducted by Cargill strongly validated, once again, that consumers really love sea salt. The purpose of this research was to gain a solid understanding of consumer perceptions towards individual ingredients, such as sea salt and sweeteners, to identify reactions when observing specific ingredients on package labels, and determine where consumer concerns lead to avoidance.1 This online tracking study utilized nearly 9,000 participants who do at least half of their household’s grocery shopping.1
What we learned is that consumers perceive sea salt as “healthier for you” than other salt types. To be exact, 59% of the time, survey respondents believe sea salt is “better-for-you” than regular table salt.1 That gap gets even larger when comparing ingredients such as sea salt to sodium, since consumers consider sea salt to be healthier than sodium 75% of the time. 1 What’s more, there is an extremely strong correlation between health perception and purchase intent at about 95%.1 This “health halo” surrounding sea salt is one that actually drives consumers to actively seek it out on ingredient lists.1 Impressively, of the 176 ingredients tested, sea salt ranked as the 6th most sought after ingredient, just below oats, honey, and egg whites.1
When comparing the general population to different psychographic consumer segments, the affinity for sea salt gets even stronger.1 For instance, “Clean Label Seekers” are people who look for organic, non-GMO ingredients, and more “natural-sounding” ingredients. “Social Influencers” is another segment of consumers who make suggestions about the healthfulness of foods or beverages on social media, and often have people coming to them for nutritional advice.1 These two segments, specifically, are 49% more likely to purchase a product if sea salt is on the ingredients list-- making them 13% more influenced by sea salt than the general population.1 Data suggest that these two consumer segments are the strongest driving force behind the perception of sea salt.
With this new research in mind, it’s easy to see how within the last five years alone, there have been about 53,820 new product launches containing sea salt with more and more sea-salt containing products being introduced every year.2 Since consumers are looking for sea salt more often, food manufacturers are rapidly responding by reformulating and crafting new products that deliver on these desires.
At Cargill Salt, we work with our customers to ensure they’re staying on top of consumer trends. To learn more about our full portfolio of sea salt products, click here: https://www.cargill.com/food-beverage/na/sea-salts
- Cargill Proprietary Research: 2019 IngredienTracker™ Consumer Perception Study
- Innova Market Insights