Boston Market shakes up salt strategy

Chain restaurant moves to reduce sodium

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The Boston Market food chain is responding to pressure from consumers and health advocacy groups about the levels of sodium in some of its most popular dishes.

Up first, salt shakers will be removed from the guest tables at all 476 locations.

You can still add extra salt, but you'll have to grab the shaker from the beverage station.

The restaurant chain is going even further and has announced a commitment to reduce sodium levels in signature items by 20 percent and to reduce sodium in the company's menu items by 15 percent by the end of 2014. Boston Market says it will be working with its research and quality assurance teams to cut the sale in its signature rotisserie chicken, mashed potatoes and its mac and cheese.

Serving Up Less Sodium

On average, Boston Market says it sells 48 million servings of its signature rotisserie chicken, 24 million servings of its mashed potatoes, and 21.6 million servings of its macaroni and cheese each year. The effort to address sodium at Boston Market is the latest step in a series of menu modifications that began nearly two years ago.

Since 2011, the chain says it has also offered guests lighter options on a menu of Meals Under 550 Calories, which offers more than 100 combinations of protein-packed entrees and fresh vegetables. Boston Market Research & Development teams are continually focused on improving the company's current food options while considering future product innovations and nutrient fortifications.

"As a consumer myself, I too have seen the headlines about the impact sodium can have on our health," said George Michel, CEO, Boston Market. "By removing salt shakers from Boston Market tables, we hope to raise awareness of salt intake, without completely eliminating the option, to those who dine in our restaurants. Today, we are publicly committing to further reduce sodium from menu items while still delivering the great taste for which Boston Market is known."

The changeover has already started.

If you head to a Boston Market you'll notice the salt shakers have already been moved.

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