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Craft Bakery Reduces Salt in Four Products by 17%

Craft Bakery Reduces Salt in Four Products by 17%

Bakery is a craft bakery business based in country Victoria. The business manufactures and sells a full range of bakery products, including bread, oatcakes, biscuits and cakes. They sell these products in their retail shops, direct to food service and via wholesale. It is a family business. 

Results and impact 

The specialty cake range which was oat based and in one case wheat free, has been reformulated to reduce the overall salt content by 17%. The range was chosen for reformulation as it is one of the bakeries top sellers. 

This work has led to the company reviewing various other recipes within product ranges to meet with Better Healthy Foods salt targets. The company is monitoring the impact of these changes by regularly reviewing sales figures and customer feedback, while undertaking regular shelf life sampling due to the reduction of salt which acts as a preservative. This monitoring has shown that the reformulation work to date has been positively received by the core consumers who welcome recipe changes which improve the healthiness of their favourite products without detracting from their existing appeal. 


When they began working with the reformulation information was difficult to obtain and the core information was gained from suppliers who often provided premixes. Getting these changed to meet the new guidelines in volumes that were not driving price out of acceptable levels was difficult. 

The program lead to identifying a consulting group who were able to source and work with suppliers so a salt reduction programme was developed for 20 top-selling products including oatcakes, biscuits and savouries, equating to 80% of the company's sales. The meat pie recipe was the first product to be reformulated by looking at the seasoning type and volume. 

Sodium content in recipes can be very high and can come from a variety of ingredients not just salt, for example raising agents. Working with its suppliers the company has been able to review the type and quantity of sodium used to reduce the overall level. Building on the success of reformulating the meat pie content, Maclean's have now changed the recipe of the pie pastry which has resulted in a 10% reduction in salt. The impact of this change has been significant as this pastry recipe is used across a number of products manufactured by the bakery. 


Building  on the successful reformulation of the steak pie recipe, the consultants targeted the cake range in order to bring it in line with the Better Healthy Foods salt targets and a move to a green light for nutrition. Reformulation work has resulted in a 17% reduction in salt content across the cakes range. A level of sodium from bicarbonate and a small amount of salt to control the yeast on rising is still necessary but fits with dietary guidelines. 

Other work instigated by the company has reduced salt content in bread, rolls, scones, pancakes and cake products. By making small changes to the recipes these products are now becoming more compliant to Better Healthy Foods salt targets. Successful reformulation can be achieved by making small changes gradually, targeting only one nutrient or component at a time, and then following this with a period of time to review the success of that one change. 

What's next? 

The Bakery is proactively working on reformulating further products using their enhanced skills and experience gained by working with the consulting group. In particular, they will look for opportunities to reduce sugar and fat content in their products. Trials are underway with Nucane sugar to replace refined white sugar and suppliers and consultants will provide on-going advice and support as necessary. 

Business comment 

“Having a small busy bakery, we didn't think we had the time to consider changing our recipes. We welcomed FIAL’s assistance in linking us to consultants who could come in and provide time, focus and expertise. Consumers' tastes are changing, with a preference for healthier products, and if you don't move with the times, your company will be left behind. We are keen to continue making recipe changes that will improve the healthiness of our products and appeal to our more health conscious consumer base.”