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Lower Sodium Foods Appeal to More Consumers

Looking for opportunities to make your food products more attractive to a larger demographic of consumers? One way is to reduce sodium in your food products or develop food products with lower sodium contents.


June 09, 2021

For example, the recently released Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025, jointly published by the U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services recommend that consumers astutely use the Nutrition Facts label on packaged food products to make selections with less sodium, reduced sodium or no-salt added, etc.1 Already, consumers have a sense from popular media that they consume more salt than needed, which, in turn, leads consumers to seek out products with lower sodium contents.2 Also, cities like New York and Philadelphia have sodium (Salt) Warning Rules in place for foods that exceed certain daily consumption levels. Therefore, if food manufacturers are able to reduce salt content, without impacting the flavor profile of the product, manufacturers still are able to please their traditional consumers while attracting supplementary shoppers with a more appealing sodium content in their product. 3

For a food category like meat, poultry and seafood, reducing sodium already is a priority for many manufacturers, but foods such as sandwiches and mixed dishes along with deli and cured products remain top sources of sodium intake in the U.S. population.4 Sodium chloride is difficult to reduce in meat, poultry and seafood products  though because of its multiple functions, including curing, antimicrobial and flavor enhancement.5 Instead of reformulating meat and poultry products, often it’s easier for companies to introduce new products with lower or reduced sodium to their lines.6 In turn, the same idea would hold true for other food product categories. 

Additionally, consumers are anticipated to continue prioritizing their health during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, further profiting products that aid consumers in meeting their wellness goals.7 For example, 42 percent of Americans are placing a higher emphasis on eating healthy due to COVID-19, according to Mintel’s global COVID-19 tracker (September 17-25, 2020).8 With sodium intake sure to be a consumer food purchase consideration, food product makers must take into account replacing sodium chlorides functional properties as well as appealing to consumers’ tastebuds to compete in this kind of market moving forward.