Insight by Gama Compass
MANCHESTER – 30th January 2020: Snack manufacturers around the world are beginning to respond to heightened concern over salt (sodium) content in packaged retail foods by cutting back on the amount of salt they use across a range of savoury snack launches, the latest insight from Gama Compass can reveal. Nonetheless, the data also shows a significant regional disparity in the average salt content of snack launches, and in some cases highlights the accelerated pace of change that may be necessary if new regulation or a shift in consumer attitudes put pressure on snack firms to switch to lower salt options.
The question of salt content, although often overshadowed by the debate around sugar, is a timely one, especially in the US where suppliers are facing calls to sign up to new voluntary measures on salt reduction proposed by the Food & Drug Administration. As in the US, the UK government has also set targets on salt reduction in the recent past, and, depending on the outcome of a forthcoming review into how the industry is performing, could ask companies to go further in curbing average salt levels across a range of processed foods.
With all this said, however, the global picture for salt in the snacks category is undeniably one of change, and change in the direction of lower-salt products, Gama Compass data shows. Worldwide, almost a third of snacks recorded on Gama Compass in 2019 contained less than 0.5g of salt per 100g, compared to just over a quarter in 2015. Meanwhile the proportion of NPD in higher salt brackets also declined – just 13% of launches contained 2g or more of salt per 100g in 2019, compared to 19% in 2015.
“While incremental reductions in salt content in snack NPD, such as those witnessed over the last five years, may continue, brands should not become complacent on the issue”, commented Gama editorial director Tom Warden. “As with the revolt against high-sugar drinks, the potential for more negative consumer attitudes towards salt should also give firms new impetus to innovate, whether that be through low-sodium salt alternatives, or else by experimenting with sour, herbal, spicy, ‘umami’ and other sensations to create new snack experiences, and ones that are less reliant on table salt to satisfy consumer cravings for savoury flavour”.
Read more on trends in salt in the snacks market in the next issue of Gama News.
Source: Gama Compass
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Notes to editors
Tom Warden, Gama editorial director, is available for comment. To arrange an interview please contact +44 161 818 8700 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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