Consumers concerned but confused about salt
January 14, 2010
by Keith Nunes
CHICAGO — Consumers are concerned about the amount of salt they consume in their daily diet, but they also are confused about the appropriate amount of salt they should consume on a daily basis, according to a survey conducted by the research firm HealthFocus International. The firm’s survey, which consisted of 800 consumers, found that 65% expressed some concern about sodium intake, but 79% did not know the recommended daily intake is 1,500 mg to 2,400 mg per day.
The consumers surveyed were able to correctly identify processed foods sold at retail and some fast-food menu items as two contributors to sodium intake. Specific foods and beverages include: french fries, hamburgers and chicken from a fast-food restaurant, and frozen meals and cured/processed meats at the retail level. But even though most consumers are able to correctly identify foods high in sodium, only approximately one-third of consumers said they are likely to avoid the foods.
Most shoppers said that they are interested in purchasing lower sodium products. For those shoppers that are not interested, the barrier identified in the survey was the perception they will not taste as good.
When presented with a list of 10 potential sodium claims such as “low sodium,” “sodium free” and “reduced salt,” there was little difference between the levels of interest in each claim. The claim that was most likely to entice consumers to buy a product was “reduced salt, same taste.”