So the supermarket brands are cheaper because they are not as good in quality as the known brands – right?
Well, a study done from 2011 to 2013 found that the salt content of the supermarket brands was lower across all the supermarket chains, in fact in 2013, it was 17percent lower than the known brands.
The study was done by the George Institute for Global Health and involved the analysis of 15, 680 products across 15 major food categories.
It is the largest study in Australian history comparing known brand and supermarket brand products.
Helen Trevena, the study’s lead author, said; “The general opinion among consumers is that supermarket brands are of an inferior quality, but this research shows that is not always the case in regard to salt. We looked at thousands of products across the major supermarket chains in 2011 and 2013 and found that when it comes to salt content, supermarket private label products can be a lower salt option. This is good news, especially for families shopping on tight budgets who are more likely to buy private label products, but are also most likely to suffer from health problems caused by high blood pressure.”
The study was published in the August 2015 edition of the journal, Nutrients.
The following is a breakdown of some of the study results showing the lower salt content for 2013;
- 27% in desserts
- 24% in biscuits
- 22% in processed meats
- 7% in breads
However in 2013, supermarket brand cereals were 37percent higher in salt than known brands.
Interestingly, there was a higher reduction in average salt content in the supermarket brands across the three years – only three percent reduction in the branded products and six percent in the supermarket brands.
Professor Bruce Neal, Head of the Food Policy Division at George Institute for Global Health, said; “Excess salt in food leads to high blood pressure and greatly increased risks of stroke and heart attack. Reducing salt in line with World Health Organisation’s (WHO) recommendations could save thousands of lives every year and hundreds of millions of dollars in healthcare costs.”