- ConAgra says it has reduced sodium content in its consumer foods by an average of 20%, roughly one year ahead of the 2015 goal it set in 2009.
- The reductions varied across the numerous products and brands produced by the Omaha-based company. Chef Boyardee canned pasta and Fleischmann's margarine both saw a 35% cut in sodium; Orville Redenbacher's popcorn saw a 25% cut; while Snack Pack puddings saw a 10% drop.
- The move comes as food companies face increasing pressures from social-media savvy consumers to drop unhealthy ingredients. Last year Kraft announced it had cut sodium use by 10%. Heinz reduced sodium in its ketchup by 10%.
We're pleased every time we see a food processor make a health-based change in its ingredients. And we're not surprised that ConAgra has achieved its goal in short order. Consumers feel strongly about ingredients. And companies that drag their feet are taking incredible risks with their businesses.
We were, however, surprised by one thing about the ConAgra announcement. The company said it had achieved its goal using three approaches: simply using less salt, using lower-sodium sea salt and/or adding potassium chloride and other sodium-free seasonings. But we did not see a mention of Nu-Tek Food Science's low-sodium Salt for Life product. Nu-Tek is owned by former ConAgra executives. And we'd assumed that ConAgra would be an early, and vocal, supporter of that product.