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ing regulations, which are described further in Chapter 7, such efforts have been voluntary and not adopted by all. Types of efforts include:

  • marketing lower-sodium foods with label claims;

  • marketing foods that have been silently reformulated to lower their sodium content;

  • funding research to discover sodium substitutes and enhancers and other new technologies for lowering sodium in foods;

  • providing information on sodium and healthy diets on packaging, in brochures, in advertisements, and on websites; and

  • providing point-of-purchase nutrition rating information.

It is notable that the industry has used two different approaches to reduce the sodium content of the American food supply through reformulating existing products. The first approach is to make changes in the sodium content of products in order for those products to qualify for sodium content claims and then to market these items to consumers interested in reduced-sodium products. As previously discussed in Chapter 2, initial attempts to use low- and reduced-sodium claims did not see overwhelming success in the marketplace. This may be because consumers associate poor taste with low- and reduced-sodium foods (Heidolph, 2008; IFIC, 2009), which may be similar to the way that consumers demonstrated lowered expectations of the sensory properties of reduced-fat products (Kahkonen and Tuorila, 1998; Kahkonen et al., 1999; Tuorila et al., 1994.) Nonetheless, Campbell’s (as described in Box 6-2) has recently used the claims approach to market a number of lower-sodium products and sees this approach as successful, according to a participant at the committee’s public information-gathering workshop (March 30, 2009).

The second approach is to make gradual reductions that generally go unadvertised to the general public. Such reductions are commonly called “silent reductions” and are designed to lower sodium gradually so that regular consumers of the product will not notice the change and can slowly ratchet down their taste preferences for salt in the product (Wrick, 2009). As stated by industry representatives at the committee’s public information-gathering workshop (March 30, 2009), many of the companies making silent reductions do so in hopes of avoiding losses in market share that sometimes occurred in past attempts to advertise reductions.

Given that some sodium reductions have occurred silently, it is difficult to produce a comprehensive review of the extent of sodium reductions over the past few decades. To fully catalogue all reductions that have taken place over the past 40 years, the industry would have to supply historical formulation information (especially for periods before sodium labeling was mandatory). While silent reductions have taken place for some foods, it ap-

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