“Reaching its limits”: industry perspectives on salt reduction

Caron Lacey (School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, Newcastle University, Newcastle, UK)
Beth Clark (School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, Newcastle University, Newcastle, UK)
Lynn Frewer (School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, Newcastle University, Newcastle, UK)
Sharron Kuznesof (School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, Newcastle University, Newcastle, UK)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Publication date: 4 July 2016

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the barriers to, and implications of, salt reduction initiatives within the UK food manufacturing industry.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 13 technical and new product development (NPD) managers were purposefully sampled from businesses supplying foods within the chilled convenience food sector. Data were generated using semi-structured interviews incorporating the critical incident technique. Thematic and comparative analyses identified similarities and differences in the challenges facing different product categories within the sector.

Findings

Barriers to further salt reduction included: manufacturing limitations; NPD constraints; food safety, quality and shelf-life trade-offs; and organoleptic acceptance. No single barrier dominated industry concerns and many barriers were interlinked. Overarching issues of competitive inequality between signatories and non-participants to voluntary salt reduction agreements, and the experience of product reformulation having reached its limits were prevalent.

Originality/value

This research provides a food industry perspective on the identified barriers faced by UK food processors and manufacturers in advancing salt reduction within the chilled convenience sector.

Keywords

Citation

Lacey, C., Clark, B., Frewer, L. and Kuznesof, S. (2016), "“Reaching its limits”: industry perspectives on salt reduction", British Food Journal, Vol. 118 No. 7, pp. 1610-1624. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-01-2016-0027

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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