Almost three-quarters (73%) of retailers have met government-set salt level reduction targets, according to new data.

Public Health England (PHE) figures, which apply to multiple and independent retailers, revealed retailers were making better progress than manufacturers (37%) in meeting the targets set by the government in 2014.

The report found that just over half (52%) of the salt reduction targets were met by the entire food industry.

Under the 2014 targets, companies were asked to meet average and maximum targets for salt content per 100g, with the maximum targets ranging from 0.13g in canned vegetables, to 3.75g in curry pastes.

BRC deputy director of food policy, Andrea Martinez-Inchausti, said:Retailers know how crucial it is to encourage healthier choices and this report points to some of the outstanding progress on removing salt by our members, both supermarkets and food-to-go businesses.

“For some salt categories, 100% of foods now meet the government’s challenging targets for salt reduction. However, the retail industry’s commitment to food safety in products where salt acts as a preservative has meant some targets haven’t seen as much progress.”

Public health minister, Steve Brine, said: “While it is encouraging to see the food industry is making progress towards the salt reduction targets we set in 2014, we know there is more to do.

“That’s why we committed to further reducing salt intake in our prevention vision. Next year, we will put forward realistic but ambitious goals, and set out details of how we will meet them.”