Unilever cuts salt in noodle brand

By Karen Willmer

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Food

Unilever has invested £10m (€15m) in the second phase of
relaunching its Pot Noodle brand in the UK, cutting in half the
amount of salt in the product.

The company announced the initial relaunch in 2006, cutting salt by 28 per cent, with new packaging, new products and further advertising. This month the company said the second phase of the relaunch will involve further reductions in salt. The move was made within a few weeks of an industry report warning companies about the high salt content of sandwiches. Data published by the Food Standards Agency in March also encouraged food manufacturers and retailers to reduce the amount of salt in foods. The food industry has been moving to voluntary cut salt levels in a bid to stave off regulation setting maximum limits. Unilever decided to focus on the brand's low fat content and natural flavourings, in order to cater for the increased consumer demand for healthier snacks, in light of government campaigns for the awareness of rising obesity rates. "For the past three years, the agency has been working with industry to encourage reductions in the levels of salt in a range of foods,"​ Bradley Smyth from the FSA told BakeryandSnacks.com earlier this month. ​When Unilever relaunched Pot Noodle in 2006, reducing salt content by 28 per cent. The company told BakeryandSnacks.com that by the end of July salt content across the range will be reduced by 50 per cent compared to 2005. "This is a massive initiative and one which is expected to drive category growth,"​ Julie McCleave, Pot Noodle business manager for Unilever said last year. "Pot Noodle is a key player in the snacks and light meals market and this radical re-launch will ensure that the brand appeals to a much wider audience." ​ The company also said it will highlight the salt message with new TV and press campaigns from September. The overall market for reduced-fat and salt products in the US, the UK, Germany, Italy, France, Spain and Australia was worth a total of $66bn (€49bn) last year. Leatherhead forecasted last month that worldwide sales of low and light foods will continue to grow in the coming years at between 2 to 3 per cent per annum if food manufacturers concentrate on making products more convenient. It said the best sectoral growth is predicted for the relatively undeveloped bakery and snacks prepared foods markets.

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