Sainsbury’s Reduces Salt in Private Brand Baked Beans

British retailer Sainsbury’s has reached another reformulation milestone in helping customers live healthier lives with the relaunch of all of its private brand Baked Beans and Pasta Meals. The range review of 31 products will be completed in August with an annual salt reduction of 14.6 tons based on current sales trends.

In a major move to address the UK’s salt intake, Sainsbury’s set to work in February 2016 to reformulate the recipes for staples like Baked Beans and Spaghetti Rings. As a result, Sainsbury’s Baked Beans and Pasta Meals range now meets the 2017 Public Health England guidelines on salt reduction – with 100% of the products falling below the maximum levels.

Why Reformulate?
Judith Batchelar, Sainsbury’s Director of Brand says: “There’s no doubt that health is high on the UK agenda. We know customers want to enjoy a healthy balanced diet and that they look to brands they trust – like Sainsbury’s – to offer solutions. As one of the first signatories to the Responsibility Deal, we’re committed to delivering healthier baskets to our customers, with the strong progress already made in reducing sugar and salt in a number of our own brand product ranges and will continue to do so, focusing on the products that are going to have the biggest impact in helping our customers live healthier lives.”

For a retailer of Sainsbury’s scale, serving millions of customers every week, these incremental reductions offer a tangible benefit to reducing the UK’s salt intake without compromising on their taste. The new and improved range also delivers on sugar reduction, with the reformulation project resulting in 59 tons of sugar being removed annually. The move comes after the retailer announced a market leading reformulation project on cereals earlier this year, removing more than 452 tons of sugar plus 18 tons of saturated fat and 11 tons of salt from across the own brand cereal range, whilst increasing the overall grain content.

The ever-changing landscape of food and health trends often results in new product launches receiving the most attention. As a result, we’re led to believe that adapting existing products to target health needs should be the easy part, when in fact that’s not the case.

Judith explains: “The task of adding or removing ingredients and finding suitable replacements, that still deliver the taste and quality that a customer expects from our products, is challenging.  It’s a significant area of investment and represents a large portion of our product development work. Our reformulations are all validated by consumer panel taste tests – to ensure they are comparable to either the market equivalent or the previous Sainsbury’s brand product – so that customers can still enjoy a great taste. In this case, Baked Beans are such a staple for so many of our customers and so the team have worked doubly hard on the new recipe to deliver a product that is both better for you, as well as better tasting.”

Full of beans… and protein… and fiber 
In addition to removing salt, fat and sugar, the whole range sees a packaging update, with additional health claims made more prominent on the packaging to help customers shop the range. In a recent panel, protein came out on top as the nutrient that was most important for customers to understand. The by Sainsbury’s Reduced Sugar & Salt Baked Beans contain an impressive 9.6g of protein per serving and the updated packaging now displays a ‘Source of Protein’ on front of pack.

The new by Sainsbury’s Baked Beans and by Sainsbury’s Reduced Sugar & Salt Baked Beans will carry on pack labelling to highlight that a half-can or 200g serving of beans is not only 1 of your 5-a-day but also:

  • Gluten-free
  • Low in Sugar & Fat
  • A source of both Protein & Fiber
  • Suitable Vegans & Vegetarians
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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.