A trend that is evolving over time
The clean label megatrend shows no sign of slowing down. The rising importance of health and wellbeing is driving the clean label trend. Consumers are now more conscious of ingredients being used in food products and how they affect their everyday life.
However, over time, consumer definitions of clean label — already a non-specific umbrella term — are getting broader and evolving. Innova Market Insights report showed that in 2020 over a quarter of all new food and beverage launches featured a clean label claim, which included “GMO-free”, “natural”, “organic” and “no additives/preservatives”.
For brands, that means the clean label is a moving target they need to follow closely as it begins to overlap with other concepts.
Time for Transparency
Clean label concerns naturally overlap with calls for transparency: a ‘clean’ label contains the fewest possible ingredients, which should all be easy for the average consumer to identify. But while product labels may be getting shorter, that doesn’t mean consumers feel they can rely on brands to be transparent – yet.
Brand Opportunity - Put a label on it
There are opportunities for brands to get more transparent right there on the label: a number of food and beverage brands are adding an FAQ to their packaging, explaining need-to-know benefits, reassurances, and product science in a friendly, accessible way.
More food labelling systems are now being used on food products. These systems are created
to make it easier for consumers to understand nutritional labels. Different types of food labelling
systems exist around the world.
Mary Lim, Technical Director Food & Nutrition at IMCD Americas, discusses what's next for the clean label movement.
How can food and beverage brands demonstrate their commitment to transparency?
"One way would be to change the perception around healthy foods and ingredients from simply ‘sounding interesting’ to ‘backed by scientific proof’ through additional funding in food science as well as by investing in education and consumer awareness. Secondly, accelerate plant-based sales by extending core brands while exploring new ingredients, categories, and geographies. And third, encourage B2C dialogue to promote consumer education around ingredient sourcing, benefits and sustainability – such as by adding marketing information on packaging."
Would you like to read the full interview with Mary? Click on the button below to download the Clean Label Goes Global Trend Spotlight.
Research by Innova Market Insights reveals that what “clean label” means depends a lot on where you live:
In Europe, for instance, consumers are focusing not only on the quality of their food but also on the reputation of the company that produces it: ethical claims are important because they want to buy from brands they can trust.
Meaning of Clean Label
varies by region