Salt in Stocks and Gravy


  • Some stock cubes are made of 50% salt - nearly a teaspoon of salt per cube
  • The labels are confusing and complicated - hiding the true salt levels
  • 87% of stocks and 99% of gravies would receive an amber or red traffic light for salt content
  • Less than half of gravy products would meet the department of health's recommended targets

Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH) has unveiled research revealing the high and unnecessary levels of hidden salt in gravies and stocks.  Stocks are used in various ways, for example; making soup, gravy, risottos, crumbled into Bolognese or used in marinades.  However, the amount of salt per stock cube is rarely declared on the label, making it very difficult to work out how much salt we are actually consuming. 


High examples of Stocks (salt per cube calculated from data provided on pack):

  1. Aldi Quixo Beef Stock Cubes, 5.09g salt per cube
  2. Kallo Yeast Free Organic Vegetable Stock Cubes, 5.0g salt per cube
  1. Asda Beef Stock, 5g salt per 500g packet (fresh)
  2. Knorr Fish Stock Pots, 4.66g salt per pot
  1. Kallo Organic Vegetable Stock Cubes, 4.5g salt per cube
  2. Bisto Original Gravy Powder, 1.66g salt


High examples of Gravies (per 100ml as consumed);

  1. Bisto Best Vegetable Gravy, 1.58g salt
  2. Bisto Best Caramelised Onion Gravy, 1.58g salt
  1. Colman’s Instant Chicken Gravy, 1.42g salt
  2. Knorr Gravy Pot Chicken Gravy, 1.4g salt


Low Examples of Stocks (salt per cube calculated from data provided on pack):

  1. Asda Extra Special Concentrated Vegetable Stock, 0.38g salt per 250g container (fresh)
  2. Kallo Organic Beef Stock, Very Low Salt, 0.5g salt per cube
  1. Oxo Reduced Salt Chicken Stock Cubes, 0.81g salt per cube
  2. Sainsbury’s Chicken Stock, 0.9 salt per 450g container (fresh)
  1. Waitrose A Ladel of Chicken Stock, 1g salt per 500g container (fresh)
  2. Waitrose Delicate & Savoury Chicken Gravy with Roast Chicken Stock & White Wine,  0.5g salt (fresh)


Low Examples of Gravies (per 100ml as consumed):

  1. Waitrose Christmas Poultry Gravy, 0.5g salt (fresh)
  2. Bisto Reduced Salt Chicken Gravy Granules, 0.56g salt
  1. Schwartz Roast Turkey Gravy Mix, 0.58g salt
  2. Tesco Finest Chicken Gravy, 0.6g salt (fresh)


Findings suggest that fresh, ready-made stocks and gravies tend to be lower in salt, however Asda’s Beef Stock, contains one of the highest quantities of salt, with 5g salt per 500g packet. Best of all, for a free and delicious gravy, why not make your own from the juices (not the fat!) of your turkey?

Graham MacGregor, Chairman of Blood Pressure UK says ‘It is a scandal that there is still so much unnecessary salt in commonly used ingredients, when it is perfectly possible to make them with less.  Manufacturers must start working towards the new salt targets immediately. For every one gram reduction in salt intake, we can prevent 12,000 heart attacks, strokes and heart failures, half of which would have been fatal.’


 For the full survey and data on the CASH website, click here