‘We can’t go too fast, or too slow’

Kraft Heinz is regarded the fifth-largest food and beverage company in the world. In addition to brands Kraft and Heinz, the business owns more than 20 others, including Philadelphia Cream Cheese, and Primal Kitchen.

Perhaps the most iconic products in the Kraft Heinz portfolio, however, remain family favourites Heinz Beans, Heinz Tomato Ketchup, and Heinz Tomato Soup.

They are also among the longest standing: Heinz (which was established in 1876 and merged with Kraft in 2015) first launched its Tomato Ketchup product in 1876, its Baked Beans in 1901, and Tomato Soup in 1910.

The company is also playing the long game with these products’ nutritional profiles.

“We’ve been focusing on salt and sugar reduction since the mid-1980s,” ​said Head of Nutrition, Consumer Science and Culinary at Kraft Heinz EMEA, Kathy La Macchia, during FoodNavigator’s Salt Reduction webinar last week​. “It’s a continuous journey, we know it’s not an easy journey, and it’s [one] that takes a bit of time.”

‘Doing good by stealth’

Salt consumption is too high in many developed countries. In the UK alone, it is recommended that people consume no more than 6g per day, but in reality, Brits consume 8.1g per day.

Lowering salt intake to the recommended level could have a dramatic impact on public health: it is estimated that the number of strokes would decrease by 22% and heart attacks by 16%.

With the majority of sodium intake (70-75%) coming from processed foods, and just 10-15% coming from either naturally occurring sodium in unprocessed foods or from salt added during cooking or eating, food companies are under pressure to act.

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