In the face of increasing pressure from major world-wide health initiatives and looming regulation here in the U.S., food processors in manufacturing and food service have undertaken their own initiatives to reduce the sodium content of their products. Food ingredient marketers have created a wide range of low-sodium and sodium-replacement ingredient products designed to help their customers respond to that challenge. The result is a crowded U.S. marketplace with hundreds of different companies competing for attention.

The 2010 IFT show in Chicago featured over 150 new product announcements for sodium-replacement ingredient products and systems. That trend line is continuing to rise this year with the entry into the U.S. market of several global ingredient companies with new sodium-reduction products like Jungbunzlauer sub4salt, KaliSel potassium chloride and NaturePep from Korea, who gave us the bikini-clad saltshaker.

A common strategy among the ingredient marketers is to brand their low-sodium products with a premium-positioned trade brand name and logo in an effort to differentiate their products from dozens of others with similar properties or chemistry. An example is Cargill’s SaltWise sodium replacement product. Another major player,Danisco, offers a line of application-specific ingredients under its SaltPro brand with products targeted at bakery, cheese and dairy, processed meat and food service applications. Major ingredient suppliers have also added sodium reduction products to their larger portfolios like Wixon Ingredient Company with branded KCLean Salt.

Other new ingredient brands include Smart Salt and Nu-Tek Salt.

Flavor companies have been among the most aggressive ingredient marketers presenting a variety of sodium-reduction solutions built into the flavoring systems they already produce for their customers. Leading flavor companies that have introduced major new low-sodium offerings include Savoury Systems Organic Salt Replacer, Griffith Laboratory’s Custom Culinary and Givaudan’s TasteSoultions Salt.

The trend to lower sodium in processed foods will continue to grow and get even bigger over the next two years. Make sure your low-sodium ingredient products stand out of the crowded ingredient marketplace. Look for our follow-up post on how food ingredient companies can successfully face the challenge of cutting through the clutter in an already-crowded marketplace.