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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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 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.
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.
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.
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.