Coles introduce new housebrand standards, salt to be reduced

Posted by Isobel Drake on 18th August 2008

Coles new Housebrand Quality Brand Standards will assist the retailer to enhance the nutritional value of its housebrand foods. The brand standards document sets targets in areas such as salt, fat and artificial colours and flavours.

“In new housebrand products, we will minimise the use of added salt by 25 per cent over five years and aim to be lower than the leading market brand equivalent,” said Coles Quality Manager, Jackie Healing.

Professor Bruce Neal, Chair of the Australian Division of World Action on Salt and Health (AWASH), believes such initiatives are vital to ensure the current high levels of salt intake by Australians can be reduced. “Coles is to be applauded for making such a definitive commitment to salt reduction,” he said. “We can only hope that other major players in the food industry will follow this lead. Salt reduction is probably the single largest unmet opportunity for preventing chronic disease in Australia and it is just not getting the attention it requires.”

The new Coles brand standards document also lays out guidelines for ingredient lists: Coles has committed to ‘use natural colours and flavours in their housebrand products where possible’, ‘will not permit the use of added flavour enhancers such as MSG and glutamates and ‘challenge the unnecessary use of preservatives and the quantities in which they are used’.

“We will be working closely with our suppliers to reduce the saturated fat content in our housebrand products,” Healing added. “The standards are effective immediately for new products but the process will not happen overnight, we hope that consumers will recognise that we are committed to ensuring a healthier future for Australians.”