Smithfield Foods, Inc. announced companywide health and wellness goals as part of its wide-ranging commitment to sustainability and continuous product improvement. By 2025, the company will reduce sodium and sugar by 10% and embrace clean labeling across its portfolio. The new goals are part of Smithfield's new standalone Health and Wellness pillar and expanded sustainability program.
"At Smithfield, we are constantly innovating to meet the ever-changing needs of consumers who are increasingly seeking out foods with improved nutrition profiles and clean, transparent labeling," said Stewart Leeth, chief sustainability officer for Smithfield Foods. "We understand the importance of continually evolving our operational practices and sustainability program to support these ends. Our addition of Health and Wellness as a sustainability pillar underscores our ongoing commitment to lead the industry in providing transparency and nourishing, high-quality protein products."
Smithfield regularly assesses the ingredients in its products to accommodate varied consumer diets, preferences and lifestyles. While sodium and sugars are integral components of a well-rounded diet that preserve food and enhance flavor, shifts in consumer expectations have inspired a concerted effort to reduce the use of these ingredients. By 2025, the company will lower sodium and sugar levels 10% across all products in its family of brands. To reach this goal, the company will continue to innovate and adapt its formulas to preserve taste, safety and quality while reducing sodium and sugar content.
This commitment complements existing products in the company's US portfolio that provide enhanced nutritional benefits and simplified ingredients with no artificial ingredients, no nitrates or added nitrites and no preservatives or monosodium glutamate (MSG), among other benefits.
Consumers want to know more about what is in the foods they purchase and they want simplified labels with ingredients that they can understand and pronounce to make informed, health-minded choices.
Smithfield is committed to increasing label transparency and to continuing to reduce the complexity of product labels by shortening ingredient statements where appropriate and employing cleaner labeling across its products by 2025. This goal builds upon existing transparency efforts, including the removal of conventional ingredients unfamiliar to the average consumer in favor of natural ingredients produced from vinegar, celery juice and cherry powder. The company's online "Glossary of Ingredients," launched in 2016, is also the first online resource of its kind provided by a protein company and lists definitions for over 100 ingredients found in Smithfield products.