NORTHFIELD, IL-- Kraft Foods Inc. says it's on track to complete a three-year initiative to reduce sodium by an average of 10% across its North American food portfolio by the end of 2012.
The food giant reported that it has already eliminated the equivalent of 14 million pounds of salt, or 1 billion teaspoons, from the North American diet annually since it announced the initiative.
"Sodium plays several important roles in food, including enhancing taste and texture as well as helping keep products fresh," said Russ Moroz, Kraft Foods vice-president of research, development and quality. "But our scientists and product developers also know more than half of North Americans are interested in lowering their sodium intake."
Moroz said the development teams were able to make meaningful reductions in sodium without sacrificing the taste, quality or safety in some of Kraft's products.
Among other products, Kraft has slashed sodium in Oscar Mayer bacon by more than 10%, in Kraft Easy Mac Cups by 30%, and in Oscar Mayer smoked deli-style ham and beef bologna and Teddy Grahams snacks by 25%.
In total, the food company has reduced sodium content in more than 1,000 SKUs across 24 different product categories. It currently offers more than 100 products that are either low, reduced or no sodium, including Planters lightly salted nuts and "hint of salt" Triscuit, Ritz and Wheat Thins crackers.
Since 2005, Kraft Foods also has reduced sugar and fats as well as increased fiber, whole grain and other nutrients across nearly 25% of its portfolio.