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How General Mills Tried To Make Its Food A Little Healthier For You

Jayson Derrick

General Mills, Inc. (NYSE: GIS) achieved a 2015 goal of lowering sodium by 20% across all 10 key U.S. product categories, the company said Tuesday.

What Happened At Generals Mills

General Mills set out to slash sodium content in all of its product categories, including cereals, dry dinners, frozen pizza, Mexican dinners, refrigerated dough products, savory snacks, canned vegetables, side dishes, soups and variety baking mixes.

General Mills also lowered sodium content across food groups that weren't part of the original goal, including frozen breakfast products, dessert mixes, grain snacks and frozen appetizers.

General Mills senior director of Innovation, Technology & Quality Tom Hockenberry said its sodium reduction initiative is part of its goal to become come a "consumer-connected" company.

Hockenberry also said the company will continue investing in creating advanced solutions to achieve incremental sodium reductions.

Why Less Sodium Is Important

While working to lower sodium, General Mills also set out a secondary objective of improving the nutrient density of its products. The company emphasized whole grain, fiber, vitamins, and minerals without sacrificing on taste.

Other food companies who made similar commitments include Campbell Soup Company (NYSE: CPB), which pledged to remove 25% of sodium from its soups. The Washington Post reported in 2017 that food companies could be reducing sodium only to be replaced with saturated fats.

"So any time you focus on decreasing one nutrient, you increase the others," Ryan Dolan, chief operating officer of PTM Food Consulting, told The Washington Post at the time.

General Mills traded around $52.47 per share at tome of publication. The company has a market cap of $31.7 billion.

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