The weight of 100 elephants in sugar is how much Santa Maria has removed from its products since beginning work on relaunching its entire product range in 2015. In addition, more than 200 tonnes of salt and a number of unnecessary additives have been replaced with herbs, spices and natural ingredients.
The demand for products with less sugar, salt and additives is considered one of the most important trends in food and drink. And the trend is also clear beyond Sweden's borders; according to a Eurobarometer survey, 66% of Europeans are concerned about additives in food. From the USA, too, there are reports on new, more restrictive guidelines concerning children and their intake of sugar.
At Santa Maria the development has been felt clearly.
"We have definitely noticed the increased focus on additives. At the same time, it is important to point out that we don't see it as a fleeting fad, but as an obvious step in taking responsibility. As a food manufacturer, we have great influence and can really make a big difference by making our products even better," says Sandra Flodström from Santa Maria's sustainability organisation.
Last year, Santa Maria relaunched part of its Tex Mex range after having removed all unnecessary salt, sugar and additives. Instead more herbs and spices have been added, for example. Additional products are now being relaunched after having undergone the same improvements.
"The consumer can now find our new tortillas, dip mixes, taco sauces and salsas in the store, as well as Indian spice mixes, noodles and coconut milk. We have removed 385 tonnes of sugar and more than 200 tonnes of salt so far. But we are not stopping there: by 2020 we will have reduced our total salt content by 25% and sugar by 50% compared to 2014," says Kristina Lukes, Marketing and Innovation Director at Santa Maria.
Doing away with salt and sugar. There is one thing however which Santa Maria will never compromise on: the taste.
"The taste has always been the focus for Santa Maria. This means that we make our work a little bit harder when we change the products – it is difficult to remove or replace ingredients while also maintaining or further improving the taste. But this makes it even better when we succeed," says Sandra Flodström.