Heinz will become one of the biggest food brands to alter its packaging with a salt awareness message, timed to coincide with a multi-million pound government campaign launching on October 10.
The company hopes to underline its commitment to salt reduction with an on-pack flash, ‘Check out my salt level’, and greater emphasis on salt content in the dietary information box.
The message is being rolled out across 30 million cans of some of its best-known brands - Heinz Baked Beanz, Spaghetti Hoops, Cream of Tomato Soup, Cream of Chicken Soup and Vegetable Soup. It goes on-pack for six weeks during the Food Standards Agency’s salt awareness campaign, but Heinz
hinted it may be permanent if consumer feedback is positive.
The initiative will be supported by consumer activity, including radio interviews.
“Health is an increasingly important factor affecting consumers’ food choices and we are delighted to be working so closely with the FSA to help consumers choose foods that are lower in salt,” said Ben Pearman, marketing manager for Heinz beans, pasta and meals.
The FSA is nearing the end of consultations with industry over interim targets for meeting the government’s aim of reducing average salt intake per person to 6g a day by 2010.
Michael Mullen, Heinz director of corporate affairs, said the company had already made substantial salt reductions - for example, by 32% in Baked Beanz over five years - and would consider further cuts, but it had to be done gradually.
“You can’t change the tastes of consumers overnight because the product would be rejected. We have been in consultations with the FSA, where our message has been that there has to be a long-term commitment to long-term reductions.”
Birds Eye peas are driving home the frozen message in their first TV ad for seven years. Unilever is spending £1.4m on the campaign. The ad features the Birds Eye veg as a gleaming ‘pea car’, arriving in top condition at consumers’ doors, while a fresh pea car disintegrates on its long journey, losing vitamins, minerals and nutrients on the way.
Claire Hu