Kraft to cut sodium by 10% in N. American products

by Bryan Salvage
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NORTHFIELD, ILL. – Kraft Foods Inc., parent company of Oscar Mayer, plans to reduce sodium by an average of 10% across its North American portfolio of products over the next two years. This amounts to eliminating more than 10 million lbs. -- or more than 750 million teaspoons -- of salt from some of North America's most popular foods.

"We are reducing sodium because it's good for consumers, and, if done properly, it's good for business," said Rhonda Jordan, president of health and wellness with Kraft Foods. "A growing number of consumers are concerned about their sodium intake and we want to help them translate their intentions into actions."

The company's goals call for sodium to be lowered in a number of products up to 20% by the end of 2012. Oscar Mayer Bologna is slated to reduce sodium by 17% and some flavors of Easy Mac Cups are scheduled to reduce sodium by 20%.

Sodium reduction has been an ongoing project at Kraft Foods. The company has been working on it for several years and has already reduced sodium in many products between 5 and 30%, including some of the Oscar Mayer brand products. Since 2008, Oscar Mayer’s white turkey deli meat products have reduced sodium content by at least 15%. Also, sodium in Oscar Mayer’s Deli Fresh Chicken Breast Strips has been reduced by 20%

"We are aggressively working toward our goal of a 10% reduction across the Kraft Foods portfolio, which will impact more than 1,000 SKUs, and we're pushing for greater reductions in the long term," Ms. Jordan said. "We're constantly looking for and investing in new technologies to help us get there."

Kraft Foods already offers lower-sodium alternatives. The company has more than 100 products that are either low, reduced or no sodium, including Oscar Mayer Lower Sodium Bacon.

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