General Mills, Minneapolis, said it 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 parent to such refrigerated and frozen food brands as Totino's pizza and pizza rolls, Green Giant vegetables, Pillsbury bakery goods and Yoplait yogurt.
“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, the company said. 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,” said Crockett.
Since 2005, General Mills has improved the health and nutrition profile of products representing nearly 50 percent of its U.S. Retail business, officials said. The company has reduced the number of calories in products, reduced fat, sugar and sodium, added vitamins, calcium, whole grain, and increased fiber. Last December, the company pledged to further reduce sugar in cereals advertised to children to single-digit levels of grams of sugar per serving.