Nestle aims to cut sodium content further

by Eric Schroeder
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NEW YORK — Nestle Prepared Foods Co. plans to reduce sodium content in its products by an additional 10% from earlier reduction targets. The initiative, which will be gradual and last through 2015, includes the company’s Stouffer’s, Lean Cuisine, Buitoni, Hot Pockets and Lean Pockets brands.

“We are dedicated to helping people improve their overall wellness by providing convenient, wholesome and delicious foods,” said Brad Alford, chairman and chief executive officer of Nestle USA. “That’s what we mean by ‘Good Food, Good Life,’ the statement that appears on a number of our consumer communications. Adjusting our sodium levels is part of our broader effort to create delicious and nutritious options that contribute to healthier lifestyles.”

Spearheading the multi-brand initiative is Stouffer’s Farmers’ Harvest, a line of three family size meals and seven new individual servings. The new line of products is expected to be available nationally by year’s end and features whole grains, sea salt, olive oil and, in several instances, a half-cup of vegetables. Sodium content for the Farmers’ Harvest line ranges from 660 mg to 950 mg.

Other changes Stouffer’s has made to its product line include decreasing sodium content in its 12-oz and 20-oz packages of classic Stouffer’s Macaroni & Cheese to 820 mg per serving from 920 mg per serving in 2005. Meanwhile, the company’s Lean Cuisine line, which was launched in 1981 with 10 products at an average sodium level above 1,000 mg, now consists of 123 varieties with an average sodium level of 606 mg.

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