WASHINGTON — Nestle S.A. on May 5 came out in favor of U.S. Food and Drug Administration efforts to release draft voluntary sodium reduction targets.
|Paul Grimwood, chairman and c.e.o. for Nestle USA|
“Our food and beverages provide nutrition to people in 189 countries, and with this scale we have a powerful platform to contribute to better global health outcomes, including for heart health,” said Paul Grimwood, chairman and chief executive officer for Nestle USA. “We are committed to constantly improving the nutritional profile of our products, but we also recognize that effective solutions to public health challenges require broad, multi-stakeholder efforts. This is why we encourage our industry colleagues, along with others in both the private and public sector, to join forces and combine our varied expertise to help people move toward healthier eating patterns, including a diet lower in sodium.”
Nestle said it wants to help people consume no more than 2,000 mg of sodium per day as recommended by the World Health Organization. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends less than 2,300 mg of sodium per day. Nestle plans to increase the number of foods and beverages across its global portfolio that reasonably could fit into a dietary pattern containing less than 2,000 mg of sodium per day. Currently 43% of Nestle food items meet this target.
Nestle said it tests reduced sodium recipes with consumer panels. At least 60 out of 100 people must prefer the Nestle products over competitors to ensure acceptance.
Nestle pointed to recent achievements in sodium reduction in U.S. products.
The company has reduced sodium by an average of 10% compared to 2013 levels in 250 products of six pizza and snack brands: DiGiorno, Tombstone, California Pizza Kitchen, Jack’s, Hot Pockets and Lean Pockets. Current sodium levels in products in those brands range from 420 mg in a California Pizza Kitchen crispy thin crust white pizza to 900 mg in a Jack’s Original bacon cheeseburger pizza.The Lean Cuisine brand launched 35 years ago with a line of 10 dishes with an average of 1,000 mg of sodium per serving. Now the brand has more than 100 recipes with an average of 600 mg of sodium per serving. In 2011, Nestle reduced sodium levels in its Gerber Lil’ Entrees line by as much as 30%.