Mintel: Salt intake on minds of dieting U.S. adults

CHICAGO — While more than half of U.S. adults currently are "watching" their diet, a fraction of them are doing so because they are concerned about their "salt intake," according to Mintel research.

While about 15% of those surveyed said they mind their salt intake, more than 4-in-10 (44%) of U.S. consumers claimed that they "always" or "usually" consult the Nutrition Facts Panel and/or ingredient list to assess sodium levels when considering a food purchase. What's more, nearly two-thirds of Americans said they believe that manufacturers are responsible for disclosing how much sodium is in their products, while 35% feel the government should be responsible for such disclosures and 18% said retailers should be held responsible.

"The relatively high incidence of dieting in the U.S. is one key factor driving demand for low-sodium products," Mintel senior health-and-wellness analyst Molly Maier said. "Our findings indicate that fat and calorie counts are more likely than sodium to influence purchase. Thus, companies may be able to maximize the appeal of low-sodium foods by also showing, where appropriate, that they are low in fat and calories."

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