Target Pledges to Reduce Sodium in Some Products

The company is the first in Minnesota to join the National Salt Reduction Initiative, a public-private partnership aimed at reducing salt levels in processed and restaurant foods.

Target Corporation has joined the National Salt Reduction Initiative (NSRI) and pledged to reduce sodium levels in some of its products.

NSRI is a coalition comprised of the New York City Department of Health, food companies, health groups, and restaurants. The initiative has developed targets to guide salt reduction in 62 categories of packaged food and 25 categories of restaurant food. When a company signs on to the initiative, it pledges that its overall sales in a given category-canned soup, for example-will meet the relevant target for salt content.

Minneapolis-based Target pledged to reduce sodium levels in some of its Archer Farms-branded products-including breakfast cereals, tortillas, wraps, and cold cuts. According to an NSRI report, the company has already met some of its targets in the breakfast cereal and cold cuts categories.

According to NSRI, Americans consume roughly twice the recommended limit of salt each day, causing widespread high blood pressure and placing millions at risk of heart attack and stroke. Most of this salt is added to foods before they are sold. The partnership's goal is to reduce Americans' salt intake by 20 percent within five years.

Others that have joined the initiative include well-known food companies Kraft, Heinz, and Campbell Soup Company-and restaurant chains Subway, Starbucks, and Au Bon Pain.

Target is the first Minnesota company to join the initiative. Last April, Golden Valley-based food giant General Mills announced an internal initiative to reduce sodium by 20 percent across its product portfolio.

Target serves customers at 1,750 stores in 49 states nationwide and on its Web site. It is one Minnesota's largest public companies based on revenue, which totaled $65.8 billion for the fiscal year that ended in January.