On the Menu this Thanksgiving: Sodium Reduction
A growing segment of consumers are choosing to make their Thanksgiving spread a little less salty.
The week of Thanksgiving is one of the best-selling weeks of the year for food and beverage categories across the United States.1 In fact, in 2018, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sales in brick-and-mortar stores hit a five-year high, reaching nearly $17.3 billion during the holiday week.2 Though Thanksgiving food sales are rising, in part due to trendy traditions such as “Friendsgiving,” and simplified meal preparation through meal kits,3 what you’ll find on people’s plates is rapidly evolving from the traditional turkey dinner.2
As Americans’ dietary preferences shift, nutritional value seems to remain top-of-mind for consumers—even during the holiday season.4 In November of last year, turkey sales were down for the month, while niche meat sectors, such as exotic meats and meat alternatives, were experiencing growth.2 Conversely, some pre-prepared side dishes, such as bread stuffing or green bean casseroles that have often served as colorful fillers to compliment the turkey, gravy, and mashed potato staples, are increasingly taking up more of the plate.2 What’s especially driving sales in pre-prepared side dishes leading up to Thanksgiving is nutritional content claims such as “lower sodium.” 2 It appears that consumers are purchasing reduced or lower sodium side dish alternatives for their holiday tables.2
A 2019 study conducted by HealthFocus® International surveying more than 2,000 American households uncovered that 50% are extremely or very concerned about sodium.5 When shopping for foods, 49% of respondents surveyed agree that “low sodium” or “lower in sodium” statements on labels are very or extremely important.5 When preparing for the holiday season, food manufacturers should continue paying attention to the growing segment of consumers are choosing to make their Thanksgiving spread a little less salty.4,5
To learn more about how to partner with Cargill Salt to achieve your sodium reduction goals, visit https://www.cargill.com/food-beverage/na/sodium_reduction.
- HealthFocus® International – 2019 USA Trend Labeling