John West launches low-salt tuna product

Canned fished brand John West is bolstering the position of its health products by launching a line of reduced-salt tuna in brine.

The product has been developed in response to UK consumers’ demand for healthier foods and growing concerns about the level of salt content in food products.

The product, which will be launched next month, will have 0.5g of salt per 100g compared to 1g in the current tuna in brine product.

John West marketing manager Jane Hilton says the company has cut the product’s salt content by speeding up the freezing process so that the tuna absorbs less salt.

It is also freezing smaller batches of fish so that the product is in the freezing tank for less time, and is using smaller fish, which absorb less salt.

Hilton says consumers are increasingly looking for healthy and convenient products and do not want artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.

She adds that products such as John West’s reduced-salt tuna fill that demand: “We have naturally healthy ingredients and the reduced-salt variety gives the consumer even further choice.”

John West has a 29.2 per cent share of the canned fish market, according to IRI data for the 52 weeks up to April 16, 2005.

The brand is owned by food giant Heinz, although it is under review as a non-core brand.

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