Orkla refreshes sustainability goals to include sugar and salt reduction

By Will Chu

- Last updated on GMT

Norwegian-based food firm Orkla places an emphasis on lowering salt and sugar in its products as part of a sustainability drive that also includes a curb on food waste.

Orkla’s new sustainability goals—targeted for 2025—form part of the Group’s Annual Report, in which Peter Ruzicka, Orkla’s President and CEO cites changing consumer preferences as a driver for change.

Sustainable production and innovation are key to our ability to respond effectively to changing consumer preferences,” ​he said.

“We will use our local presence and our strong brands to develop products and services that are good for people and the environment.” 

UN Sustainability Development Goals

Key to the firm’s sustainability goals are its ongoing efforts to develop products containing less salt, sugar and saturated fat – a process that started in 2014 in support of the UN’s Sustainability Development Goal SDG3.

One of Orkla’s sustainability goals targets a 15% reduction in total consumption of salt and sugar in the firm’s food products.

“In 2018, Orkla will continue its efforts to reduce the content of salt, sugar and fat. Sugar reduction will be the highest priority in the future for companies in every business area,” ​the report stated.

Orkla’s focus has been on its confectionery and snack offering, which aims to eliminate 21 tonnes of salt from its snacks and biscuits by 2018.

In 2017, the company targeted a 40% salt reduction in its Bokstavkjeks (alphabet cookies) and Tom & Jerry biscuits.

The firm also detailed its plans for this year in which its KiMs Elias snacks would benefit from 30% less salt.

“Since 2015, a total of approximately 70 tonnes of salt have been eliminated from Orkla’s Norwegian products, and we are close to achieving our goal of a reduction of 80 tonnes by the end of 2018,”​ Orkla said.

Sugar reduction efforts

Orkla’s annual report also details its efforts to cut sugar in 2017, in which it states an annual reduction in sugar intake equivalent to 1040 tonnes.

It attributed including less sugar in bread toppings, between-meal smoothies, jams and ketchup as efforts behind its success.

In addition, cordials, throat lozenges, between-meal snacks, jams and breakfast cereals would no longer include added sugar.

In 2017, Orkla Foods released a number of products under the Paulúns brand (Sweden, Finland and Latvia), Det Gode Liv brand (Denmark) and the Bare Bra brand (Norway).

The products—developed alongside nutritionist Fredrik Paulúns—were made exclusively from natural raw materials, have no added sugar and consist of carefully selected healthy ingredients.

2017 also saw the launch of a brand new biscuit, Kornmo 7 that also contained no added sugar, and made from just seven familiar, healthy ingredients.

Orkla stated that Kornmo was a brand with the strongest organic growth, due to several successful launches.

“Through the agreement of intent to promote healthier food, we have committed to specific targets for reducing salt, sugar and saturated fat in our products,”​ the report said.

“Among other things, Orkla will contribute towards reducing Norwegians’ daily salt intake from ten to eight grams by 2021.

“Over a period of several years, Orkla companies in the Nordics, Baltics, Central Europe and India have gradually reduced the amount of salt, sugar and fat in a number of their products.”

Orkla’s 2017 annual report can be read here​.  

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