Reduced salt packaged foods refer to foods that contain less than 120 milligrams of sodium for every 100 grams of product. In reduced salts, the percentage of sodium is about 25 percent that of the sodium content in standard salt. Reduced salts are used in preservation of various types of meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts, instant food products like soups, ready-to-eat meals, biscuits chips, etc.
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The reduced salt packaged foods market is a moderately fragmented market on account of the market still being in the nascent stages. The fragmentation is largely due to the range and variety of products reduced salt is used to preserve. As the market and affiliated technology develops, the fragmentation is expected to increase.
Several prominent players from the packaged foods and beverages industry feature in the reduced salt packaged foods market. Some of the key global players in the market include PepsiCo, The Kraft Heinz Company, General Mills, Maple Leaf Foods, Kelloggs, JBS, Tesco, Tyson Foods, Nestlé, ConAgra Foods, Hormel Foods, Smithfield Foods and Cargill.
R&D and product innovations are a key market dynamic. The general trend has been to replace and reduce high-sodium food preservatives and additives like monosodium glutamate, sodium bicarbonate, sodium benzoate and sodium nitrite. One key way this being achieved is by limiting the salt content and using herbs and spices to preserve food.
Potassium salts are another key research area for manufacturers since potassium and sodium are both soft, silvery-white alkali metals that belong to the same element family on the periodic table. However, they have contrasting effects on cardiovascular health; while sodium increases blood pressure, potassium reduces blood pressure. Potassium salts are found naturally in certain fruits, grains, vegetables and milk.
Some key brands of packaged food that incorporate reduced salt include McCormick, Lo Salt, Lawry’s, Johnny's, V8, Blue Diamond, Planters, Amy’s, Frito-Lay, StarKist, Better Than Bouillon, Spam, Ortega, All Natural, Kikkoman, Koyo and others.
In terms of distribution channels, online platforms have dominated the reduced salt packaged food market as consumers often find it hard to find products on shelves of supermarkets and retail stores. However, increased awareness has been leading to offline sales as well. Hence, online and offline marketing strategies are continuously evolving.
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Drivers of the Reduced Salt Packaged Food Market
Increasing awareness about the health hazards of sodium have largely driven the reduced salt packaged food market. Increasing prevalence of cardiovascular diseases due to lifestyle changes, especially in middle-aged persons, have also driven the market.
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Challenges to the Reduced Salt Packaged Food Market
Given that the market is at the nascent stages, the cost of reduced salt products remains high, often deterring people from purchases. Stringent government regulations in certain countries regarding food safety standards have at times slowed R&D. Limited research into risks and benefits of reduced salt products has also inhibited the market.
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Impact of Covid-19
The Covid-19 pandemic is leading to an economic slowdown, which may reduce people’s incomes and increase the tendency to pick cheaper products. On the other hand, increasing health awareness in the aftermath of the pandemic may end up having a positive impact on the reduced salt packaged food market.
The North American regional segment has dominated the reduced salt packaged food market due to rising cardiovascular ailments. High awareness levels in the general population about the harmful effects of excess sodium has also led to this regional segment dominating the market.
The European regional segment has been the second largest regional segment and a hub for research into new products. The East Asian segment has been the fastest growing segment due to increased adoption of reduced salt packaged food products. It is mainly led by the developed economies of Japan, Taiwan and South Korea.
South Asia, Latin America, Oceania, and Middle East and Africa are the other important regional segments.
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