United Biscuits hits 94 percent of salt reduction target
United Biscuits (UB) has made strong progress in reducing salt across its portfolio with 94% of its products within the maximum threshold set by the Department of Health in its Responsibility Deal. However the way the data is presented by the Department of Health by category does not fully represent this.
The Responsibility Deal reporting only shows a positive response when ALL products in a category have reached the maximum AND average targets. Consequently we show achievement of the targets in just one out of four categories. With 233 products divided between four categories, we have worked hard to achieve sodium reductions using a phased approach that is acceptable to consumers.
Examples of salt reductions achieved in a phased approach over recent years include:
- McVitie’s Hobnobs 43% salt reduction
- McVitie’s Rich Tea 33% salt reduction
- McVitie’s Digestives 24% salt reduction
Our work to reduce salt before these targets were introduced has made it harder to achieve reductions now. For example two thirds of the sodium now in a McVitie’s Digestive does not come from salt but from the Sodium Bicarbonate raising agent.
Ensuring that the taste and quality of our products meets consumers’ high expectations is our paramount concern. For a range of biscuits, much of the remaining sodium in our products is in the form of raising agents. Reducing this will be a challenge as many of the alternative raising agents adversely affect the flavour and texture of the biscuit, which makes them unacceptable.
We will continue to work towards the Department of Health’s Responsibility Deal goals for the remaining 6% of our portfolio that is not already within the maximum target.