Supermarkets lead the way in sodium content claims

by Staff
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NEW YORK — According to market researcher Packaged Facts, traditional supermarkets accounted for 75% of all foods with low-, no- or reduced-sodium content claims in 2007. Packaged Facts defines supermarkets as grocery stores with at least $2 million in annual sales.

In the report "Market Trend: Low, Reduced or No Sodium or Salt Foods and Beverages in the U.S.," Packaged Facts also said mass merchandisers have 20% share in the sodium content claim market with health/natural food stores having 3% share.

The report also said seven product categories — beverages, condiments, dairy, grains/snacks, meat/fish/entrees, soups and canned vegetables — will have the greatest increase in sodium content claims.

"Health and wellness are major forces in today’s marketplace and are having a significant impact on consumer purchase behavior in most food and beverage categories, including sodium content products," said Tatjana Meerman, publisher of Packaged Facts. "In addition to low- and no-sodium claims, expect to see salt substitutes and self-enhancing products making a powerful move to the market to combat the high sodium levels in our foods."

The research also indicated the top 10 marketers in the sodium content movement, which are Amy’s Kitchen, Inc., Petaluma, Calif.; Campbell Soup Co., Camden, N.J.; ConAgra Foods, Inc., Omaha; Del Monte Foods Co., San Francisco; General Mills, Inc., Minneapolis; H.J. Heinz Co., Pittsburgh; The Hain Celestial Group, Inc., Melville, N.Y.; Hormel Foods Corp., Austin, Minn.; Kraft Foods Inc., Northfield, Ill.; and Unilever, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.

Packaged Facts said the information indicates consumer demand for more healthful and nutritional foods and beverages is growing, and this includes a concern about sodium levels. Consumers on low-salt diets and purchase low-sodium foods tend to be older and are often retired with fixed or low incomes. Those who are less likely to be watching sodium intake include young professionals and families.

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