Beyond the Shaker: Unveiling HFSS delays and advocating salt consciousness
In the wake of the recent postponement of HFSS product restrictions until 2025, Caroline Klinge, spokesperson for the leading reduced sodium brand LoSalt, shines a spotlight on the alarming state of the UK’s salt consumption.
In this impassioned interview, Klinge calls for united action from retailers, manufacturers, and the government, presenting shocking statistics that underscore the urgency of addressing the nation’s salt-related health crisis.
Klinge invites stakeholders to join forces in combating this crisis, positioning LoSalt as a catalyst for positive change.
Caroline, can you shed light on the persistent issue of salt consumption in the UK and the apparent lack of impact from current NHS and government guidelines?
Poor diet has become the leading global cause of death, with excessive salt consumption standing out as a major concern. Shockingly, about 2 million deaths annually are linked to high salt diets.
In the UK, once pioneers in salt reduction, we’ve witnessed a u-turn, with current salt intake sitting at 40% above the recommended daily limit of 6g. Despite NHS and government guidelines, salt use remains unchanged, and it’s crucial to recognise the twofold problem – excessive salt in processed foods and our habit of seasoning without tasting.
The figures you present are staggering. How can reducing salt intake save lives and cut NHS costs, and why is it crucial for retailers and manufacturers to address this issue?
Thousands of lives could be saved by reducing population salt intake in the UK and it would reduce NHS costs by millions. The potential impact is immense. For every 1g of salt cut from our diets, we could prevent 4,414 premature deaths and save £288 million in NHS spending.
Retailers and manufacturers play a pivotal role in reshaping consumer habits. As HFSS restrictions are delayed until 2025, the industry can proactively lead in improving public health by promoting lower-sodium processed foods and making reduced sodium salts more visible.
Can you share insights into how LoSalt is received by retailers and consumers? How is the product faring in the market?
The salt market is dominated by sodium chloride-based options, with reduced sodium salts accounting for just 2% of volume sales. Retailers can influence this split by making reduced sodium salts more available and visible. LoSalt, offering a familiar taste with reduced sodium content, has proven successful, with 3 out of 4 people liking it, resulting in a 94% likelihood of repeat purchase. Recent insights show a decrease in category sales when LoSalt is replaced, indicating consumer preference for reduced sodium options.
Why is it important for retailers and the hospitality sector to address the benefits of reduced sodium salts and promote seasoning with sense?
Reduced sodium salts are a simple yet effective strategy to improve cardiovascular health, the leading global cause of death. The World Health Organisation and Resolve to Save Lives recognise their potential impact.
Retailers and the hospitality sector can drive this message to customers through marketing and promotions, influencing healthier seasoning habits.
Dr. Sarah Jarvis highlights the link between high salt intake and health issues. Can you elaborate on the impact of salt on blood pressure, heart attacks, and strokes?
Dr. Sarah Jarvis explains that it’s the sodium in salt causing issues. Excessive salt disrupts the body’s sodium balance, leading to water retention and increased blood pressure. High blood pressure, in turn, increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
With the UK averaging 8.4g of salt daily, 68% above WHO’s recommendation, even cutting one gram could prevent over 4,000 premature deaths annually.
As LoSalt celebrates its 40th anniversary, what does this milestone mean to the company, and how does it shape your commitment to salt reduction?
LoSalt is produced by Klinge Foods Ltd, a family company based in Scotland and founded by my father and uncle in 1979. The intention was to be world leading manufacturers of potassium chloride. Having achieved that goal, they looked into how they could take their product directly to the consumer. With potassium chloride being a natural mineral salt and used by the pharmaceutical industry to lower blood pressure, the idea was to create a healthier salt with less sodium.
Now available in 30 countries, our 40th anniversary marks a momentous occasion to intensify efforts in driving salt reduction strategies.
The ‘season with sense‘ initiative, launched last year, reflects our dedication to transforming salt habits globally, both in food manufacturing and consumer choices. We hope to witness a profound change in salt intake over the next 40 years, supporting the nation’s health.