FSA in Scotland
Last updated on 6 August 2010
Industry activity on salt
About 75% of the salt we eat is already in the foods we buy, the majority in processed foods. The FSA is working with the food industry to encourage reductions in the levels of salt in these foods.
All sectors of the food industry - retailers, manufacturers, trade associations, caterers and suppliers to the catering industry - have responded positively to calls to reduce salt in foods and continue to be engaged in this programme.
In May 2009 the Agency published new voluntary salt reduction targets for 2012 for 80 categories of foods and revised targets for a limited range of food categories for 2010, replacing the previous targets for 2010, which were set in 2006.
The aim of the targets is to help guide the food industry as to the type of foods in which salt reductions are required, and the level of reduction needed to help progress towards the FSA's strategic plan objective of reducing the population average salt intake to 6g per day.
The number of target categories has been reduced from 85 to 80 as some were redefined or joined together when, following discussions with industry, it became clear that separate categories were not necessary for some foods. The targets cover 80 categories of processed foods, including everyday foods such as bread, bacon, ham, breakfast cereals and cheese, and convenience foods such as pizza, ready meals, savoury snacks, cakes and pastries.
Unless otherwise stated, the following statements of progress by industry against the 2010 salt targets refer to those set by the Agency in 2006.
UK retailers, including Asda, Boots, Budgens, Co-op, Iceland, Marks and Spencer, Morrisons, Sainsbury's, Somerfield, Spar, Tesco and Waitrose, are all working towards the FSA's voluntary salt reduction targets.
|Asda||Met all the FSA's salt targets by January 2008.|
|Boots||Met the 2010 salt targets ahead of the 2010 deadline.|
|Co-operative||All own label products met the original 2010 targets by mid-2009.|
|Iceland||Working towards achieving the salt targets by 2010 and have some products that already meet the targets.|
|Lidl||Working towards the 2012 targets and aim to meet these by the deadline for all product categories.|
|Marks and Spencer||90% of products already meet the 2010 targets and its bread and sandwiches meet the 2012 targets.|
|Morrisons||Met the 2010 targets in 90% of its categories, including foods that are key contributors to dietary salt intake, such as breakfast cereals, bread, pizza and ready meals.|
|Musgrave||Achieved the 2010 salt targets in 25 out of 40 categories that apply to the Budgens and Londis brands and aim to meet the 2012 targets by the deadline.|
|Sainsbury's||Met the target for its own-brand standard sliced bread, which is one of the top three products in Sainsbury's shoppers' baskets. It has also met the 2010 targets in 80% of its own-brand products, including breakfast cereal, ready meals and soups.|
|Spar||Aiming to meet the targets by 2010.|
|Tesco||Met the 2010 targets and 70% of products meet the 2012 targets.|
|Waitrose||Met the original 2010 salt targets.|
Major manufacturers, such as Arla Foods, Bernard Matthews, Birds Eye, Cadbury Schweppes, Heinz, Kelloggs, Kerry Foods, Kraft, Mars, McCain, Nestlé, Northern Foods, PepsiCo, Premier Foods, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, United Biscuits and Vion Foods, are all working towards achieving the salt reduction targets.
|AB World Foods||Working to meet the 2012 salt targets and has removed 30-60% of salt from its leading products over the past four years.|
|Allied Bakeries||Met the 2010 salt targets for all its key branded products.|
|Arla Foods||Achieved the 2010 salt targets for its butters and soft cheeses and has reduced the amount of salt in its cheese spreads by up to 46%.|
|Bernard Matthews||Met the 2010 salt target for cooked meats and some meal centres are already below the 2012 targets.|
|Burton Foods||Since 1 January 2010, 90% of products met the 2010 salt targets and 98% of biscuits were below the 2012 salt target.|
|Birds Eye||Ready meals all contain less than 2g of salt.|
|Cadbury Schweppes and Northern Foods||Aiming to meet the targets by 2010.|
|Findus Group||Achieved 2010 salt targets in the majority of its coated fish and fish meals products and is working towards the 2012 targets.|
|Heinz||Its standard tomato ketchup meets the 2010 salt target as do their soups, canned pasta and mayonnaise. Heinz is working towards the 2012 deadline.|
|Kellogg’s||Reduced the amount of salt in its products by 44% since 1998. In early 2009 the amount of salt in Kellogg’s Bran Flakes was reduced by 20%, Kellogg’s All-Bran by 25% in 2008 and in 2007 Kellogg’s took 50% of the salt out of Special K.|
|Kerry Foods||Working towards the 2010 targets. Achieved the salt target for bacon and taken up to 44% of salt out of its sausages – all sausage brands will be at the 2010 targets by the 2010 deadline.|
|Kraft||Reduced levels of salt in its cheese spreads and snack products by 33% and is working towards achieving the 2010 and 2012 salt targets.|
|Mars||Achieved a salt reduction of up to 44% across their Dolmio, Uncle Ben's and Seeds of Change sauces with 95% meeting the 2010 target. As the majority of their products already meet the original 2010 salt targets, they are now focused on working towards the 2012 targets.|
|McCain||All products meet the 2010 targets and are now working to meet the 2012 targets before the deadline. Since work on salt reduction started in 2001, McCain has reduced the salt content of its products by around 22%.|
|Nestlé||The majority of products meet the 2010 salt targets and some already meet the 2012 target.|
|PepsiCo||Its crisps now contain up to 55% less sodium. Having reached the original 2010 targets for a number of its snacks and cereals, they are working towards the 2012 targets for salt reduction.|
|Premier Foods||Reformulating many Batchelors products to meet the 2010 targets, for example its Batchelors range of savoury rice, for which sodium levels will be reduced by up to 70%.|
|Princes||Working towards the 2010 and 2012 targets where appropriate.|
|Unilever||Reformulated its products to meet the 2010 salt reduction targets in its Knorr, Chicken Tonight, Ragu and Colman's ranges with products meeting the 2010 targets and some already meeting the 2012 targets. Unilever’s Hellmann's range of mayonnaises, dressings and table sauces meet the 2010 targets and some such as its salad cream, and ‘Light Reduced’ mayonnaise already meeting the 2012 targets.|
|United Biscuits||Achieved a 23% sodium reduction in its biscuits and cakes portfolio and an 18% reduction across its crisps and snacks range.|
|Vion Food Group||From January 2008, Vion Food Group (a Dutch bacon manufacturer providing 25% of UK bacon sales) reduced the average level of salt in its products to 3.5g salt per 100g.|
|Dairy Crest, General Mills, Northern Foods and Proctor and Gamble||Working towards achieving the salt reduction targets|
The Association of Cereal Food Manufacturers (ACFM), Biscuit, Chocolate, Cake and Confectionery Association (BCCCA), British Retail Consortium (BRC), Federation of Bakers (FoB), Food and Drink Federation (FDF), and the Snacks, Nuts and Crisps Manufacturers Association (SNACMA) are all working towards salt reduction.
|ACFM||Members have reduced the amount of sodium in breakfast cereals by 49% since 1998.|
|BCCCA||Since February 2006, members have reduced levels of salt in their most popular brands of cakes and biscuits by between 16 and 50%.|
|BRC||Members have already met, or are very close to meeting, all the original 2010 salt targets.|
|FoB||Has achieved a reduction of over 30% in pre-packed sliced bread, which accounts for about 80% of the bread sold in the UK.|
|FDF||As part of Project Neptune, between 2003 and 2005, they reduced the amount of salt in soups and sauces by 25% and 29% respectively and although this project has now ended, companies are continuing to work independently to meet the salt targets.|
|SNACMA||In 2007, members achieved salt reductions of 13% in crisps, 32% in extruded snacks and 27% in pelleted snacks.|
The Agency has been working with industry to secure voluntary commitments on healthier catering. More than 40 of the UK's major catering companies (including two of the largest suppliers to the food service sector) have published the activities they are undertaking on procurement, menu planning, consumer information and kitchen practice. All companies have activities relating to salt reduction, the vast majority using the FSA's salt targets to benchmark and monitor progress, while others are using the Agency's traffic light nutrient guidelines in a similar way. More information about the healthy catering commitments can be found at the link below.