Monday, January 10, 2011

Campbell's Goes To The Sea For Its Salt

Admittedly, this ad has me a little confused...

"Adding sea salt has helped us reduce sodium in over 40 soups."

But, isn't sea salt, salt?

Okay, I have to admit, I hated science in both high school and college. So, I'm thinking I may not be remembering my science lessons very well. Maybe it's time to do a little investigation on this topic.

Common table salt is sodium chloride. NaCl. It is natural; in other words, it is found in nature; in salt mines to be specific. It is refined to remove any impurities and sometimes additives - like iodine - are added back into the salt.

Sea salt, on the other hand, is formed from the natural evaporation of ocean water. It, too, is natural NaCl. But, it is sold in a more pure or raw form than table salt. As such, it contains trace elements of magnesium, sulfur, calcium, and potassium.

But, bottom line, both table salt and sea salt are over 98% sodium chloride. That doesn't leave a lot of room for sea salt to be vastly different than table salt.

Okay, do you understand this ad better now?

No, I didn't think so.

Next stop, WebMD. Do they think that sea salt is healthier than table salt? (Thus, validating Campbell's decision to replace one for the other?)

"Table salt is getting a lot of competition from the new guy on the block - sea salt. The hype about sea salt is that they claim it contains trace minerals that table salt doesn't have. Truth is, those minerals are in such a low quantity that they don't make a difference to your health. The interesting news is that because sea salt has a much more intense flavor, you end up using less of it."

Interesting. So, in a roundabout way, Campbell's may have done us all a favor by replacing the table salt in their soups with sea salt.

But, at the end of the day, I don't want to have to work this hard to figure out your advertising, Campbell's. And, truthfully, I'm still not convinced that your soups are all that much healthier.

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