MARKS & Spencer has been blasted for encouraging shoppers to carry a bag of salt and sugar with them to add extra flavour to food.
The store last week launched “Magic Sprinkle” — a mix of sugar, salt, dried herbs, onions and garlic — to sprinkle over meals and snacks.
The £1 product — backed by Towie star Gemma Collins — can be added to foods such as scrambled eggs, beans on toast, pasta bake and even popcorn. It can also be used with cocktails.
In a promotional video the store encourages customers to “never leave home” without the product — which is sold in pink resealable bags — and suggests it should be carried around in handbags or pockets.
Gemma, 38, who claimed to be the first person in the UK to taste the sprinkles, posted on Instagram: “You can put them on everything from scrambled eggs to sweet popcorn. They also make a mean addition to a Bloody Mary. I’m so lucky.”
But health experts blasted the mixture, which is made up of 22 per cent sugar and 12 per cent salt.
Mhairi Brown, nutritionist at Action on Salt, said “For M&S to recommend adding this product to foods and drinks, which already contain too much salt and sugar, ‘to add extra flavour’ is completely irresponsible.
“We’re all eating too much salt which puts up our blood pressure and puts us at increased risk of suffering from strokes and heart attacks, while eating too much sugar leads to weight gain, Type 2 Diabetes and tooth decay.
“We should all try and enjoy the natural flavour of food – ideally cooking meals from fresh.
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“If M&S think their products are too bland, perhaps they should try encouraging customers to buy fresh herbs and spices for some healthy flavour, rather than a sachet of salt mixed with sugar.”
Meanwhile the store has been ridiculed over the new product on social media.
One confused shopper tweeted: “You do know that most eatery establishments have salt and sugar that they let you add to their food for free? Why would I bring out a little baggie of my own to add to everything?”
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