Developing healthier products with less salt, sugar and saturated fat is high on Orkla’s agenda. In 2016 the companies continued to make good progress in this work.
In several countries, the population’s intake of salt, sugar and saturated fat is far higher than recommended by the health authorities. As a consequence, more people are experiencing poorer health and quality of life due to diseases such as type 2 diabetes, overweight and cardiovascular diseases.
If you eat healthily and are physically active every day, you reduce the risk of lifestyle diseases. In a public health perspective, small changes in the daily diet of a large number of people have a greater impact than big changes for individuals. Orkla therefore works actively to make its most popular products healthier with a lower salt, sugar and saturated fat content. The companies made substantial advances in this work in 2016.
The population’s salt intake is nearly twice the recommended level. In Norway, Orkla has signed the Salt Partnership agreement, aimed at reducing Norwegians’ average daily salt intake from ten to eight grams by 2021. In 2016, Orkla Foods Sverige set clearly defined targets for reducing salt in its products, based on the Green Keyhole healthy food labelling scheme and the Norwegian Salt Partnership. Orkla Confectionery & Snacks Norge works systematically to reduce the salt content in its biscuits and snacks products by 21 tonnes by 2020. In 2016, Orkla Confectionery & Snacks Sverige initiated a project to reduce the amount of salt in its sweet and salty biscuits. Reducing salt is also on the agenda outside the Nordic region. Good examples are Vitana, a company that has achieved a significant effect by cutting down on salt in its bouillon products, and MTR Foods in India, which has a comprehensive salt reduction programme.
By developing products containing less salt, Orkla contributed to an annual reduction in salt consumption of around 90 tonnes in 2016. Ketchup, soups, porridges, liver paté, fish roe spreads, ham and bread and Indian ready-to-eat dishes, breakfast mixes and snacks are examples of categories of products in which the salt content was reduced in 2016. In the past five years, the amount of salt has been reduced by the equivalent of an annual reduction in consumption of 716 tonnes.
Sugar intake is still higher than recommended by the health authorities. In 2016, Orkla continued to develop more low-sugar and sugar-free products in the drink, sauce, rice porridge, gherkin, toppings, jams and ketchup categories. Several of the companies in the Nordics and Baltics launched new products with less sugar in 2016, such as breakfast cereals and crispbread, naturally sweetened yoghurt and chocolate with a higher cocoa content, and have extensive launch plans for 2017 as well. The Indian company MTR Foods has reduced the sugar content of its popular Badam drink mix. By developing sugar-free and low-sugar products, Orkla has helped to increase the annual reduction in sugar intake by an amount equivalent to 640 tonnes in 2016. In total, Orkla’s portfolio of sugar-free and low-sugar products help to reduce sugar intake by around 14,000 tonnes.
Less saturated fat
The health authorities recommend that we limit the percentage of saturated fat in our diet to no more than 10% of our energy intake. Orkla helps to reduce people’s intake of saturated fat by replacing palm oil with alternatives that have a more beneficial composition of fatty acids. This work continued to show effective results in 2016. In addition to replacing palm oil, Orkla Foods Sverige, for example, has launched several vegetarian products and switched from animal to vegetable protein in parts of its ready-meal assortment, while Hamé has launched a new range of spreadable toppings with less fat.
By developing products with a healthier fat composition, Orkla contributed to an annual reduction in consumption of saturated fat of around 370 tonnes in 2016. Pizza, soups, sauces, casseroles, ready-to-eat dishes, toppings, biscuits and snacks are examples of product categories in which the saturated fat content was lowered in 2016. Since 2008, saturated fat has been reduced by an amount equivalent to an annual reduction in consumption of 7,500 tonnes.