Jerónimo Martins Launches Awareness Campaign To Curb Salt Consumption
Portuguese retail group Jerónimo Martins has launched a national awareness campaign, Menos Sal Portugal, with the aim of cutting salt consumption among consumers.
The scheme is a partnership between the Pingo Doce supermarket chain and CUF to raise awareness on the importance of improving eating habits.
It follows other initiatives already implemented by the retailer, such as reducing the salt content in bread and eliminating salt in soups.
Evaluating Salt Intake
As part of the initiative, a study will be launched to measure and evaluate salt intake in Portugal, and its consequences on health.
According to existing data, the Portuguese consume, on average, twice the amount of salt recommended by the WHO.
The WHO recommends a maximum daily intake of five grams of salt for adults and up to three grams for children. The Portuguese consume 10.7 grams, on average.
The consumption of excess salt is associated with several diseases. Hypertension affects one third of the Portuguese population and, when uncontrolled, can lead to fatal situations, such as strokes and heart attacks.
Reducing Salt Content
Over the past eight years, Pingo Doce has reduced 70 tonnes of salt from its private-label products.
The retailer has also committed to complying with a protocol signed by the Portuguese government with the retail chains, which aims to reduce the salt content by 16% in products such as cheese, ham, toast, biscuits and chips by 2021.
Although Jerónimo Martins admits that it is not easy to maintain the sales of products with reduced salt content, it noted that 'it is a matter of education and time'.
Meanwhile, CEO Pedro Soares dos Santos announced that the company will invest between €300,000 and €400,000 in Portugal’s first DNA laboratory, which will trace the products of its suppliers.
Soares dos Santos stressed that the laboratory, which is expected to be ready within a year and a half, should guarantee the quality of the Pingo Doce brand.
© 2019 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Branislav Pekic. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.