General Mills sets sodium reduction goal

Posted by Josette Dunn on 19th April 2010

Leading food company General Mills –  responsible for over 100 consumer brands including Cheerios, Häagen-Dazs, Nature Valley, Betty Crocker, Old El Paso, and Muir Glen – is accelerating its goals to reduce sodium by 20 percent across multiple product categories by 2015. The commitment was announced in the company’s 2010 Corporate Social Responsibility Report.”General Mills is committed to reducing sodium levels in a series of small steps across our portfolio,” said Susan Crockett, Ph. D, vice president, Health and Nutrition, and director of the Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition at General Mills. “We believe making changes in a series of smaller steps is the right way to continue to deliver great taste while reducing sodium.”

Since 2005, a cross-functional team of researchers has been working to silently trim sodium levels without compromising taste. Successful reductions have already been implemented on a number of products, including a 16 percent sodium reduction in both Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios; more than 25 percent sodium reduction in select Progresso soups, and a 36 percent sodium reduction across the Chex Snack mix line.

General Mills will also continue to focus on the development of new lower sodium products.

“General Mills’ focused health and wellness strategy addresses the most important health priorities that consumers have today — weight management, heart health, and living a healthier, more active lifestyle,” Crockett said.

Since 2005, General Mills has improved the health and nutrition profile of products representing nearly 50 percent of its U.S. Retail business. General Mills has reduced the number of calories in products, reduced fat, sugar and sodium, added vitamins, calcium, whole grain, and increased fibre. Last December, the company pledged to further reduce sugar in cereals advertised to children to single-digit levels of grams of sugar per serving.

General Mills’ 2010 Corporate Social Responsibility report highlights the company’s achievements in the areas of health, community and environment, and is available for download at