Food industry progress

The Food Standards Agency has published the industry’s commitment to salt reduction which shows all of the major retailers to be on track to meet the 2010 salt targets with many other manufacturers making significant reductions so far. Catering outlets and restaurants have also made commitments to reduce the salt content of their menu items but are lagging behind the retailers with this. The Food and Drink Federation has recently announced that the salt content of the food bought in UK supermarkets has reduced by the equivalent of nearly 8,000 tons in the past two years.

All Retailers

Asda met the original FSA 2010 salt targets two years ahead of schedule and are now working to meet the revised targets. Asda’s dual-traffic light and GDA labelling scheme shows how much salt is found in a serving across all seven categories recommended by the FSA.

The Co-operative now meets the 2010 salt targets across all of their products.

Marks & Spencer have met 90% of the 2010 targets, with their breads and sandwiches already meeting the 2012 targets

Lidl are meeting the 2010 targets across many of its product ranges and is currently looking at how they can meet the 2012 targets.

Morrison’s have fully engaged all of their manufacturing sites in salt reduction, helping them to deliver salt reductions across all relevant categories. So far, all Morrison’s breakfast cereals and 90% of their fresh and pre-packed breads and ready meals now meet the FSA 2010 targets.  

Sainsbury’s are currently on track to meet all of the 2010 targets. In January 2010 Sainsbury’s announced that their Free From products will be re-launched with lower salt levels.

Tesco’s has removed over 3000 tonnes of salt from their own label products since 2006, 780 tonnes of which has been removed from bakery products. All their products meet 2010 targets and 70% now meet 2012 targets.

Waitrose now meets the 2010 salt targets across their whole range of products.

All Manufacturers

Bernard Matthews has taken out between 30% and 50% of salt from its coated products

Heinz is phasing in a reformulated standard Heinz Tomato Ketchup recipe across the UK and Europe, which will match the revised FSA salt reduction target set for 2010, while still keeping all the taste. Heinz soups have been reduced in salt by 39%

Kellogg’s finally announced a 30% reduction in the salt content of their cereal ranges including Rice Krispies, Corn Flakes, Coco Pops, Frosties and Crunchy Nut Cornflakes.

Mars has achieved 93% of the 2010 FSA 2010 voluntary salt targets, and already meets the 2012 targets for pasta, dry rice and half of their pasta sauces.

McCain has met the 2010 targets and are continuing to work closely with government, consumers and stakeholders to meet the 2012 targets.

Key commitments from restaurants and cafes

Burger King is working closely with the FSA to reduce the salt content of their products and are currently trialling low salt options. All of their beef burgers contain no added salt, and no salt is added to their fries

Café Nero has spent the previous year focusing on developing products to meet the FSA targets. 5 out of 6 wedge sandwiches meet the targets and suppliers have been briefed with a lower salt soup recipe. Pastries meet the 2010 targets and cupcakes meet the 2012 targets.

Costa have met the 2010 targets across all of their products and are beginning to brief suppliers on meeting the 2012 FSA targets.

Domino's have recently committed to salt reduction and are starting to work with suppliers to try and meet these. No salt is added in store.

Greene King are committed to meeting 2012 targets, and all suppliers have been made aware of this. All curry’s now meet 2012 targets. New and best selling products have been benchmarked against 2012 targets

JD Wetherspoon aim to meet 2010 targets during 2010/2011 in all products. Salt reduced by a third in the 10 key meals. No salt is added in the kitchens. Lo salt is available to consumers. Nutritional information is available online.

John Lewis Restaurants 50% of their own brand foods now meet FSA targets and salt has been reduced by the supplier of sandwiches by 25%. Low salt is available at tables.

KFC has reduced salt by up to 40% in their key core ingredients, including bread, popcorn chicken, chicken fillets, mini-fillets, original recipe chicken and beans, since 2004. KFC no longer salt fries, and they are exploring salt reduction in their key products.

Marston’s have met the 2010 FSA targets in 74% (145) of their new products and are currently working towards meeting 2012 targets.

McDonald's has been working on salt reduction since 2003, when they became the first company in their sector to embark on a salt reduction project. The average children’s meal now contains 46% less salt than it did in 2000 and burger buns, chicken nuggets, burgers, fries and ketchup have all had their salt content reduced.

Nando's has removed over 50% of the salt from the lemon & herb baste, one of the most popular flavours. They have also reduced the salt content of five of their top ten target ingredients and reduced the salt content of 11 dishes by a minimum of 10%. They will continue to support salt reduction, using the FSA targets and traffic light levels to asses each menu item.

Pizza Hut has removed approximately 30% of salt from their meal range. They have introduced a policy where items on the children menus must have less than 50% of the salt GDA. All core ingredients now meet the 2010 targets.

Pret A Manger currently has 80% of their products meeting the 2010 targets, and all crisps and snacks meet 2012 targets. They are on track to meet 2012 targets on time.  

Punch Pub Company meets the 2010 targets in all bought in products and are now working towards 2012 targets which 6% of products already meet.

Starbucks Coffee has reduced the salt content of their sandwiches by 14% and is working hard to meet the 2010 targets.

Subway has reduced the average salt content across all ranges by 33%, with 93% of subs meeting the 2010 targets.

Upper Crust hope to meet the FSA 2012 targets, and has a policy of adding no salt to any products on site. 7 of 13 food categories already meet 2012 targets, and the rest are under review with suppliers.

Wagamama’s have been working with the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) to reduce salt in their meals.  They have reduced the salt content in children's meals and are currently trialling a 20% salt reduction of the adult ramen dishes, receiving positive feedback so far.

Whitbread (Beefeater, Premier Inn, Brewers Fayre) have committed to meeting the 2012 targets by 2011.

Wimpy has reduced the salt content of 62% of their 50 core food components to meet the 2010 targets, with all nutritional information now being available in store in a leaflet.

Key commitments from caterers and food service suppliers

3663 are 96% through their programme to meet the FSA 2010 sodium targets on 330 lines. Particular success includes a reduction of salt in ready meals by 10%, in cooking sauces by 18%, in pizza by 13% and 52% in doughnuts. Their next plan is to explore meeting the 2012 targets.

7 Day Catering have pledged to remove all salt cellars from their units or, when this is not possible, provide low salt alternatives. They are currently working to reduce the salt content of all their products

Accent only use specific low salt dishes when necessary and instead opt to enhance the flavour of all dishes by using herbs and spices. All suppliers have been made aware of the 2010 targets and are required to meet them. They have added 1000 new recipes to their database, all of which contain no added salt. They also have training programmes in place to educate the chefs.

Artizian have achieved a 10% reduction in added salt, and are working to get all products meeting the FSA targets where possible.

Autograph Foodservice have introduced a ‘no added salt’ rule for all of their newly developed meals and are working to achieve the FSA 2010 targets, which are now met in 85% of products. Salt cellars have been removed from tables on their sites.

Brakes has an ongoing salt reduction programme, and 70% of its product sales now meet the FSA's 2010 salt targets including all bread, sausages, bacon, pies, pastries and biscuits. 700 products already meet 2012 targets.

Compass Group are actively working with the FSA on salt reduction, and have committed to meeting the 2012 targets. Compass Group requires all of their supplies to be meeting or working towards the FSA targets. They also have GDA/traffic light labelling in place at 1200 of their sites.

Elior are currently working with supplies to meet the 2010 salt targets. The amount of salt purchased has reduced by 51% since 2009. They are working closely with suppliers to meet the 2010 targets and will review their work in light of the 2012 targets. Bacon, sausages, soups, sauces  and boullion all now meet the 2010 targets. Many of their recipes now contain now added salt. 

ISS Facility Services (Food & Hospitality) – 92% bakery products meet 2010 targets, removal of salt cellars from tables and reduce added salt by 25% by educating chefs.

ISS Facility Services (Healthcare) – 330 own brand products meet FSA 2010 targets, with all burgers meeting the targets. Vegetables and potatoes will not be cooked with salt.

Sodexo is currently working to meet the FSA targets. Sodexo requires all of their suppliers to meet the 2010 targets. For instance, they use low salt bread for sandwiches, unsalted butter and low salt baked beans.

Southover Food Company are working to reduce the salt content of their foods. A particular success was reducing the salt content of their back bacon from 2.9g/100g to 0.6g and developing a low salt gammon range. They will next focus on popular items, guided by FSA 2010 targets, including sandwich fillings, cakes, dairy and bread.