Don’t Blame the Crisps: Nutrition Data Reveal Bakery and Sauces Make Up 55% of Salt Purchased in Packaged Food

Strategy Briefing

About This Report

Mar 2015

Consumers in Mexico and Germany purchase more salt from bakery than the Chinese do from their entire packaged food, highlighting reformulation opportunities in categories not perceived as high in salt. With food labelled as reduced salt only seeing limited success, and salt consumption still above the 5g WHO’s recommended daily level, reduction by stealth is the way forward. This report identifies category and regional salt reduction opportunities to help meet the WHO’s guidelines.

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Don’t Blame the Crisps: Nutrition Data Reveal Bakery and Sauces Make Up 55% of Salt Purchased in Packaged Food

Packaged food delivers half of the recommended WHO’s salt intake level per day

Globally in 2014, packaged food delivered 2.5g of salt per capita, per day, accounting for half of the WHO’s 5g recommended intake level. In a number of countries however, including Japan and Germany, salt purchased from packaged food, at the level of 7g per capita per day, exceeds the total recommended daily intake.

Sauces and bakery contribute up to 55% of salt intake

Sauces and bakery together accounted for 31% and 24% respectively, of total salt purchased from packaged food globally. A cross country comparison can be even more striking. On average Mexicans buy 5g of salt per capita, per day in bakery products, while Chinese consumers buy only 3g per capita per day, from all packaged foods.

Average consumer in developed markets gets 1g of salt more per day from packaged food

Developed countries show an average of 4g per capita per day of salt purchased from packaged food, higher than the 3g per day purchased by consumers in emerging markets, although emerging markets are rapidly catching up. Consumers in developed markets show little signs of reverting to fresh food, presenting reformulation opportunities for packaged food manufacturers.

Salt reduction by stealth is the way forward

The packaged food industry is playing a pivotal role in helping consumers limit salt purchased. With products positioned as reduced salt only seeing a limited success, reduction by stealth is the only way to achieve substantial salt reduction levels.

By 2019, over 5 million tonnes will be sourced from packaged food

Assuming constant 2013 salt content, salt purchased from packaged food globally will amount to 5.4 million tonnes by 2019, with 3.1 million tonnes sourced from bakery and sauces, dressings and condiments alone.


Introducing Passport Nutrition
Research methodology for Passport Nutrition
Key findings

Market Overview

Did you know?
5g goal strongly supported by governments and industry
Half of WHO’s 5g of salt comes from packaged f ood
Western consumers still lead salt purchasing
Developed markets: consumers not expected to revert to fresh food
Prioritise countries exceeding the WHO’s daily salt intake goal
Public and private initiatives strongly raise consumer awareness
BFY reduced salt not sufficient to meeting the WHO’s guidelines
From BFY to heart healthy: General Mills – Progresso Soup

Salt Reduction by Stealth

Approaches to salt reduction by stealth: One s ize d oes not fit a ll
Leading industry solutions to facilitate salt reduction by stealth
Changing the crystal s tructure: Soda-Lo
Substituting salt : Sub4Salt

Potential Market Opportunities

Hunting for further reformulation opportunities
Reducing salt in salty snacks is not enough
Calories and salt: A clear correlation
Target bakery and sauces
More than half of salt purchased is from sauces and bakery
Sauces m ajor c ontributor to s alt intake in Asia Pacific and Brazil
Examples of other sauces , dressings and c ondiments in Brazil
Bakery reformulation: Opportunities in Mexico and Saudi Arabia
C hilled meat key in Germany
High rice consumption has an impact in Asia Pacific
Salt from dairy rises in Middle East and North Africa


2019: 3 million tonnes of salt can be replaced in bakery and sauces
Noodles could be the new salt reduction frontier
Opportunities and awareness among strategic considerations
Conclusions and k ey developments