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Nutrients 2015, 7(8), 7027-7041; doi:10.3390/nu7085321

A Comparison of the Sodium Content of Supermarket Private-Label and Branded Foods in Australia

1
The George Institute for Global Health, The School of Public Health, University of Sydney, P.O. Box M201 Missenden Road, Camperdown, Sydney, NSW 2050, Australia
2
The School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, Praed Street, Norfolk Place, London W2 1PG, UK
3
Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Missenden Road, Camperdown, Sydney, NSW 2050, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 June 2015 / Revised: 12 August 2015 / Accepted: 17 August 2015 / Published: 21 August 2015
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Abstract

Supermarket private-label products are perceived to be lower quality than their branded counterparts. Excess dietary sodium in foods contributes to high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. Sodium concentrations in products are an important indicator of quality. We compared the sodium content of 15,680 supermarket private-label and branded products, available in four Australian supermarkets between 2011–2013, overall and for 15 food categories. Mean sodium values were compared for: (1) all products in 2013; (2) products in both 2011 and 2013; and (3) products only in 2013. Comparisons were made using paired and unpaired t tests. In each year the proportion of supermarket private-label products was 31%–32%, with overall mean sodium content 17% (12%–23%) lower than branded products in 2013 (p ≤ 0.001). For products available in both 2011 and 2013 there was a ≤2% (1%–3%) mean sodium reduction overall with no difference in reformulation between supermarket private-label and branded products (p = 0.73). New supermarket private-label products in 2013 were 11% lower in sodium than their branded counterparts (p = 0.02). Supermarket private-label products performed generally better than branded in terms of their sodium content. Lower sodium intake translates into lower blood pressure; some supermarket private-label products may be a good option for Australians needing to limit their sodium intake. View Full-Text
Keywords: sodium reduction; pre-packaged food; branded; private-label sodium reduction; pre-packaged food; branded; private-label
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Trevena, H.; Neal, B.; Dunford, E.; Haskelberg, H.; Wu, J.H.Y. A Comparison of the Sodium Content of Supermarket Private-Label and Branded Foods in Australia. Nutrients 2015, 7, 7027-7041.

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