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Attitudes Toward Sodium - US - February 2013

“Despite consumers’ interest in eating healthier, they also want food that tastes good. While government, food manufacturers and restaurants try to provide healthier options to Americans, these organizations are up against several challenges, especially regarding how to market low/no/reduced sodium items.”

– Emily Krol, Health and Wellness Analyst

Some questions answered in this report include:

  • Consumers believe they should be responsible for choosing food and drink, but many recent rulings have impacted availability of certain products. What is the impact of government regulation on consumer choices?
  • Consumers want food that tastes good, but know that high-sodium contents are unhealthy. How can restaurants and packaged foods companies reduce sodium content without alienating people who want great-tasting food?
  • The jury is still out regarding how bad sodium really is, especially for those who do not suffer from hypertension or high blood pressure. How will this affect consumer perceptions of low-sodium products?

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Consumer survey data
            • Advertising creative
              • Abbreviations and terms
                • Abbreviations
                  • Terms
                  • Executive Summary

                      • The market
                        • Figure 1: Mean amounts of sodium consumed per individual, by gender and age, in the U.S., 2009-10
                      • Market factors
                        • Population
                          • Figure 2: Total U.S. population aged 18 or older, by age, 2013 and 2018 and currently limiting sodium intake, by age, November 2012
                          • Figure 3: Population by race and Hispanic origin, 2013 and 2018, and currently limiting sodium intake, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2012
                          • Figure 4: Median household income, in inflation-adjusted dollars, 2001-11
                          • Figure 5: Currently limiting sodium intake and concern about amount of sodium in diet, by household income, November 2012
                        • Usage of low-sodium products has increased
                          • Figure 6: Household use of unsalted nuts, pretzels, potato chips, crackers, and tuna, May 2003-June 2012
                        • Unhealthy lifestyles of Americans
                          • Marketing
                            • The consumer
                              • Reasons for limiting sodium
                                • Figure 7: Reasons for limiting sodium, by gender, November 2012
                              • Sodium-limiting behaviors
                                • Figure 8: Ways to limit sodium, by gender, November 2012
                              • Attitudes toward sodium
                                • Figure 9: Attitudes toward sodium, by sodium limiters, November 2012
                              • What we think
                              • Issues in the Market

                                  • Consumers believe they should be responsible for choosing food and drink, but many recent rulings have impacted availability of certain products. What is the impact of government regulation on consumer choices?
                                    • Figure 10: Sodium restriction responsibility, by gender, November 2012
                                  • Consumers want food that tastes good, but know that high-sodium contents are unhealthy. How can restaurants and packaged foods companies reduce sodium content without alienating people who want great-tasting food?
                                    • The jury is still out regarding how bad sodium really is, especially for those who do not suffer from hypertension or high blood pressure. How will this affect consumer perceptions of low-sodium products?
                                    • Insights and Opportunities

                                      • Tools/Apps
                                        • Food labels
                                          • Retail
                                            • Restaurants
                                            • Trend Applications

                                                • Trend: Sense of the Intense
                                                  • Trend: The Big Issue
                                                      • Figure 11: Food products purchased for dieting, April 2011-June 2012
                                                    • 2015 Trend: East Meets West
                                                    • Market Factors

                                                      • Key points
                                                        • Demographics
                                                          • Age
                                                            • Figure 12: Population, by age, 2008-18
                                                            • Figure 13: Mean amount of sodium consumed per individual, by gender and age, in the U.S., 2009/10
                                                          • Ethnicity
                                                            • Figure 14: Population, by race and Hispanic origin, 2008-18
                                                          • Median income
                                                            • Figure 15: Median household income for households headed by whites, in inflation-adjusted dollars, 2001-11
                                                          • Unhealthy habits of Americans
                                                              • Figure 16: Ailments suffered, by reason for watching diet, April 2011-June 2012
                                                            • Increase in those limiting sodium and usage of low-sodium products
                                                              • Figure 17: Reasons for watching diet, 2006-12
                                                              • Figure 18: Household use of unsalted nuts, pretzels, potato chips, crackers, and tuna, May 2003-June 2012
                                                            • Initiatives
                                                            • Innovations and Innovators

                                                              • Food
                                                                • Figure 19: Share of food products launched with low/no/reduced-sodium claim, 2007-12
                                                                • Figure 20: Food products launched with low/no/reduced-sodium claim, by top 10 subcategories, 2007-12
                                                                • Figure 21: Share of branded/private label food product launches with low/no/reduced-sodium claim, 2007-12
                                                              • Drinks
                                                                • Figure 22: Share of drink products launched with low/no/reduced-sodium claim, 2007-12
                                                                • Figure 23: Drink products launched with low/no/reduced-sodium claim, by top 10 subcategories, 2007-12
                                                                • Figure 24: Share of branded/private label drink product launches with low/no/reduced-sodium claim, 2007-12
                                                              • Carbonated soft drinks
                                                                • Flavored water, carbonated water
                                                                  • Other innovations
                                                                    • Figure 25: Soda-Lo online advertisement, 2013
                                                                • Select Brand Analysis

                                                                    • Campbell’s
                                                                      • Figure 26: Campbell’s, television ad, 2012
                                                                    • Kraft
                                                                        • Figure 27: Kraft, television ad, 2013
                                                                      • Mrs. Dash
                                                                        • Figure 28: Mrs. Dash, television ad, 2012
                                                                      • McCormick spices
                                                                        • Figure 29: McCormick, television ad, 2012
                                                                    • Sodium Limiters

                                                                      • Key points
                                                                        • Six out of 10 watching sodium levels
                                                                          • Both men and women watch sodium levels, but for slightly different reasons
                                                                            • Figure 30: Reasons for limiting sodium, by gender, November 2012
                                                                          • Watching sodium intake increases with age
                                                                            • Figure 31: Reasons for limiting sodium, by age, November 2012
                                                                          • Lowest household income most likely to watch sodium levels
                                                                            • Figure 32: Reasons for limiting sodium, by household income, November 2012
                                                                          • Presence of children
                                                                              • Figure 33: Reasons for limiting sodium, by presence of children in household, November 2012
                                                                          • Sodium Limiting Behaviors

                                                                            • Key points
                                                                              • Putting away the salt shaker
                                                                                • Female sodium limiters read labels
                                                                                  • Figure 34: Ways to limit sodium, by gender, November 2012
                                                                                • Educate older men about sodium consumption
                                                                                    • Figure 35: Ways to limit sodium, by gender and age, November 2012
                                                                                  • More affluent consumers likely able to afford healthier food products
                                                                                    • Figure 36: Ways to limit sodium, by household income, November 2012
                                                                                  • Presence of children
                                                                                    • Figure 37: Ways to limit sodium, by presence of children in household, November 2012
                                                                                • Shopping Habits of Sodium Limiters

                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                    • Where sodium limiters shop
                                                                                      • Figure 38: Retailers and channels most often shopped for food/drink, by limiting vs. not limiting sodium, November 2012
                                                                                    • Strategies to save money when grocery shopping
                                                                                        • Figure 39: Saving strategies when grocery shopping, by limiting vs. not limiting sodium, November 2012
                                                                                      • Innovations and improvements sought in grocery shopping experience
                                                                                          • Figure 40: Innovations and improvements sought in the grocery shopping experience, by limiting vs. not limiting sodium, November 2012
                                                                                        • Appealing retail offerings when shopping for food and drink
                                                                                            • Figure 41: Important retailer offerings when shopping for food and drink, by limiting vs. not limiting sodium, November 2012
                                                                                        • Interest in Sodium-Limiting Products

                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                            • Sodium limiters using a variety of herbs and spices to limit sodium
                                                                                              • Figure 42: Products to limit sodium intake, November 2012
                                                                                            • Women more likely to use salt alternatives
                                                                                              • Figure 43: Product used to limit sodium intake, by gender, November 2012
                                                                                            • Older male sodium limiters not using as many products to limit
                                                                                              • Figure 44: Product used to limit sodium intake, by gender and age, November 2012
                                                                                              • Figure 45: Product not used, but would be interested in trying to limit sodium intake, by gender and age, November 2012
                                                                                            • Higher household incomes more likely to use seasonings, herbs, and spices
                                                                                              • Figure 46: Product used to limit sodium intake, by household income, November 2012
                                                                                              • Figure 47: Product not used, but would be interested in trying to limit sodium intake, by household income, November 2012
                                                                                            • Those who use salt alternatives also use a variety of products
                                                                                              • Figure 48: Product used to limit sodium intake, by ways to limit sodium, November 2012
                                                                                          • Attitudes Toward Sodium/Health

                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                              • Respondents prefer to control amount of sodium in their food
                                                                                                • Older women most likely to prefer to cook at home to control sodium
                                                                                                  • Figure 49: Attitudes toward sodium, by gender and age, November 2012
                                                                                                • Educate lower household incomes who are concerned about sodium intake
                                                                                                  • Figure 50: Attitudes toward sodium, by household income, November 2012
                                                                                                • Brands have an opportunity to educate consumers who are confused
                                                                                                  • Figure 51: Attitudes toward sodium, by sodium restriction responsibility, November 2012
                                                                                                • Nonsodium limiters not concerned with amount of sodium in their diet
                                                                                                  • Figure 52: Attitudes toward sodium, by sodium limiters, November 2012
                                                                                              • Relationship Between Sodium and Dieting

                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                  • Older respondents most likely to watch diet for salt intake
                                                                                                    • Figure 53: Salinity monitor spoon
                                                                                                    • Figure 54: Reasons for dieting, by age, April 2011-June 2012
                                                                                                  • Food products purchased when dieting
                                                                                                    • Figure 55: Diet food products, by age, April 2011-June 2012
                                                                                                    • Figure 56: Diet food products, by household income, April 2011-June 2012
                                                                                                  • People watching their diet for salt intake eat healthier
                                                                                                    • Figure 57: Attitudes/opinions about food and diet, all vs. those watching diet for salt intake, April 2011-June 2012
                                                                                                  • Sodium limiters healthier than nonsodium limiters
                                                                                                    • Figure 58: Agreement with attitudes toward health, by sodium limiters, November 2012
                                                                                                • Race and Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                    • Other ethnicities most likely to be currently watching sodium
                                                                                                      • Figure 59: Reasons for limiting sodium, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2012
                                                                                                    • Sodium limiting behavior
                                                                                                      • Figure 60: Ways to limit sodium, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2012
                                                                                                      • Figure 61: Product not used, but would be interested in trying to limit sodium intake, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2012
                                                                                                    • Black respondents prefer to control sodium through cooking own food
                                                                                                      • Figure 62: Attitudes toward sodium, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2012
                                                                                                  • Cluster Analysis

                                                                                                      • Figure 63: Target clusters, November 2012
                                                                                                    • Cluster 1: Healthy Investors
                                                                                                      • Demographics
                                                                                                        • Characteristics
                                                                                                          • Opportunity
                                                                                                            • Cluster 2: Health Conscious
                                                                                                              • Demographics
                                                                                                                • Characteristics
                                                                                                                  • Opportunity
                                                                                                                    • Cluster 3: Pass the Salt
                                                                                                                      • Demographics
                                                                                                                        • Characteristics
                                                                                                                          • Opportunity
                                                                                                                            • Cluster characteristic tables
                                                                                                                              • Figure 64: Reasons for limiting sodium, by target clusters, November 2012
                                                                                                                              • Figure 65: Ways to limit sodium, by target clusters, November 2012
                                                                                                                              • Figure 66: Product used to limit sodium intake, by target clusters, November 2012
                                                                                                                              • Figure 67: Product not used, but would be interested in trying to limit sodium intake, by target clusters, November 2012
                                                                                                                              • Figure 68: Attitudes toward sodium, by target clusters, November 2012
                                                                                                                              • Figure 69: Sodium restriction responsibility, by target clusters, November 2012
                                                                                                                              • Figure 70: Agreement with attitudes toward health, by target clusters, November 2012
                                                                                                                            • Cluster demographics
                                                                                                                              • Figure 71: Target clusters, by demographic, November 2012
                                                                                                                            • Cluster methodology
                                                                                                                            • Appendix: Other Useful Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                              • Sodium limiters
                                                                                                                                • Figure 72: Reasons for limiting sodium, by gender and age, November 2012
                                                                                                                                • Figure 73: Reasons for limiting sodium, by employment, November 2012
                                                                                                                                • Figure 74: Reasons for limiting sodium, by generation, November 2012
                                                                                                                                • Figure 75: Reasons for limiting sodium, by sodium limiters, November 2012
                                                                                                                              • Sodium limiting behaviors
                                                                                                                                • Figure 76: Ways to limit sodium, by age, November 2012
                                                                                                                                • Figure 77: Ways to limit sodium, by generation, November 2012
                                                                                                                                • Figure 78: Ways to limit sodium, by education, November 2012
                                                                                                                                • Figure 79: Product used to limit sodium intake, by ways to limit sodium, November 2012
                                                                                                                                • Figure 80: Product used to limit sodium intake, by ways to limit sodium, November 2012
                                                                                                                                • Figure 81: Product used to limit sodium intake, by ways to limit sodium, November 2012
                                                                                                                              • Shopping habits of sodium limiters
                                                                                                                                • Figure 82: Retailers and channels most often shopped for food/drink, by reasons for limiting sodium, November 2012
                                                                                                                              • Usage of sodium-limiting products
                                                                                                                                • Figure 83: Product used to limit sodium intake, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2012
                                                                                                                                • Figure 84: Product used to limit sodium intake, by sodium limiters, November 2012
                                                                                                                              • Interest in sodium-limiting products
                                                                                                                                • Figure 85: Product not used, but would be interested in trying to limit sodium intake, by gender, November 2012
                                                                                                                                • Figure 86: Product used to limit sodium intake, by age, November 2012
                                                                                                                                • Figure 87: Product not used, but would be interested in trying to limit sodium intake, by age, November 2012
                                                                                                                                • Figure 88: Product not used, but would be interested in trying to limit sodium intake, by sodium limiters, November 2012
                                                                                                                              • Attitudes toward sodium
                                                                                                                                • Figure 89: Attitudes toward sodium, by gender, November 2012
                                                                                                                                • Figure 90: Attitudes toward sodium, by age, November 2012
                                                                                                                                • Figure 91: Attitudes toward sodium, by generation, November 2012
                                                                                                                                • Figure 92: Attitudes/opinions about food, by gender, April 2011-June 2012
                                                                                                                              • New product introduction claims
                                                                                                                                • Figure 93: The 30 most common claims associated with food launches, 2007-12
                                                                                                                                • Figure 94: The 30 most common claims associated with drink launches, 2007-12
                                                                                                                            • Appendix: Trade Associations

                                                                                                                              Companies Covered

                                                                                                                              • American Heart Association, Inc.
                                                                                                                              • Campbell Soup Company
                                                                                                                              • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                              • Food and Drug Administration
                                                                                                                              • Kraft Foods Inc. (U.S.A.)
                                                                                                                              • McCormick & Company, Inc.

                                                                                                                              Attitudes Toward Sodium - US - February 2013

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