Economy Food Ranges Deemed Unhealthy

Major British supermarkets chains have today been criticised for failing to make their economy range foods as healthy as their standard lines. It is reported that only 35 per cent of low cost ranges meet salt targets.
An analysis by the National Consumer Council says that most bargain basement lines contained a significantly higher amount of salt, as well as more fat and sugar, than the supermarkets own brand counterparts.
The watchdog also reported how there are fewer healthy food promotions in supermarkets where poorer consumers are likely to shop .
The report highlights certain products that contain added salt, for example a breakfast made up of toast with spread, two sausages, baked beans and tomato ketchup bought from an economy food line are likely to contain as much as two thirds of the recommended daily salt intake for an adult.
Morrisons and Somerfield were the worst offenders in this department, and the report also notes how Asda’s SmartPrice products contained more salt than those in its standard range.
Chairman of the NCC, Lord Larry Whitty, called on leading supermarkets to behave more responsibly towards healthy eating, saying “Consumers who rely heavily on economy ranges are clearly being short changed on health .”
“Supermarkets’ poor performance on economy lines is a backward step since last year. At least 26 million of us are eating too much salt, most of it hidden in the food we buy, and supermarkets should play a bigger part in tackling the problem,” he added.

The Trade Association’s general director , Kevin Hawkins, said, “It is based on store visits six months ago. Retailers will be disappointed it fails to give credit for a string of significant moves already made and more on the way.”
“Retailers are constantly introducing practical measures to encourage better diets . They are reducing fat, salt and sugar content.”
Overall Morrisons gained the worst score for salt levels in its Bettabuy range, followed closely by Somerfield’s Makes Sense selection, with both Sainsbury’s Basics range and Asda Smartprice joint third. Tesco Value picked up the best score of the five economy ranges for salt content.

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