More consumers are heeding health messages about the danger of excessive salt consumption, with low-sodium salt now representing 17.7% value share of the overall £25m (US$35.9m) UK salt market.

With an annual value of approximately £4.4m, the low-sodium salt market is second to the table salt market, but has a larger market share than cooking salt, rock salt and sea salt.

The low-sodium salt market is still led by the longest established brand, LoSalt, which claimed 84% volume share, according to IRI data released in December 2001. Competitors, such as Saxa and Solo, claimed a considerably smaller percentage than LoSalt in the volume and value share markets. The next highest selling brand achieved no more than an 8% volume share.

In a national consumer survey undertaken in August 2001, low-sodium salt was one of the most regularly purchased functional foods. About 25% of the 1000 female respondents had either tried or regularly purchased low-sodium brand, LoSalt, as compared to 20% for Benecol, 14% for Yakult, 7% for calcium-rich milk and 3% for Solo.

Sales and marketing director of LoSalt, Nigel Murray, attributed the market success of LoSalt to its consumer image as a ‘good’ salt.

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“Our research has consistently shown that although consumers see salt as ‘bad’, LoSalt is viewed positively. Rather than turn off consumers with negative medicinal benefits, we emphasis the lifestyle benefits of using LoSalt, as emphasised in our product tagline of Good Sense with Salt. 

“The ongoing increase in sales can only be due to brand loyalty. Consumers are staying with LoSalt, despite having a larger range of low-sodium salts to choose from, because they have confidence in the brand. Over 18 years, we have built a strong brand equity and now we are reaping the rewards.”