Campbell Soup Co. has affirmed that it will continue to offer low-sodium soup

Campbell Soup Co. has affirmed that it will continue to offer low-sodium soup

Campbell Soup Co. has insisted it would continue to offer low-sodium soups in the wake of criticism of the US food maker's plans to add salt to certain products.

CEO-elect Denise Morrison said today (20 July) that reducing sodium was "absolutely the right thing to do" despite announcing plans last week to increase salt levels in 31 products in its Campbell's Select Harvest range.

At an investor meeting last week, Sean Connelly, president for Campbell's North American operations, said the company had committed in 2006 to be an "industry leader in sodium reduction". However, it has since found that "not all user groups value sodium reduction equally".

"Some are willing to make modest taste tradeoffs when others are not," Connelly said.

The company has since moved to clarify the statements made last week after receiving criticism from consumer lobbyists. The Centre for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) said last week that it is going to be "a lot harder for the company to talk about the health benefits of soup".

"How patronising for Morrison, now the new chief executive, to claim that adding more salt to Cambell's soups gives consumers more choice," said CSPI executive director Michael Jacobson.

However, Morrison today emphasised the company's commitment to cutting sodium.

"We know that many consumers take great interest in the impact of the foods they eat on their long-term health and well-being," she said. "But we also recognise that the health and wellness attributes of foods mean different things to different people. For many, weight loss and weight maintenance is of primary importance. Others define their wellness needs in terms of vegetable nutrition, sodium reduction, energy and stamina, or digestive health. Thus, reducing sodium is just one component of our wellness strategy."