The term ‘clean label’, though fairly new, has infiltrated consumer marketing as they increasingly demand mindful food and beverage options that meet their general wellness goals. “The mindful consumer and the choices that they’re making is really an enormous topic. You can really sum that up into ‘I feel good about what I eat, but what I eat is also good for me’,” said Lu Ann Williams, director of innovation, Innova Market Insights, during an IFT preview webinar, as stated in Food Navigator.
Innova research found that claims related to ‘free from’ rose by a CAGR of 16 percent between 2013 to 2017, followed by ‘clean label’ claims at +13 percent. Additionally, 50 percent of shoppers in the US, UK and Germany said they make a conscious effort to read label, and 70 percent said they “want to know and understand the ingredient list,” according to Williams.
Protein claims also have an impact on consumers. “People ask about this all the time: ‘Is protein still a big deal?’ Yes, it is,” said Williams. “Over 10 percent of new products have a protein claim, which is just huge.” She went on to comment that protein will continue to have a big impact on consumers, continuing to rise rapidly in the innovation of plant-based and animal-based sources.
Gut health has become another popular claim on products, such as in fermented beverages. Innova has also seen a rise in snacks and confectionery brands that are taking advantage of this trend by adding probiotics to products.
Williams noted that consumers are looking for good-for-you products that are not only healthy but are also created with environmental impacts in mind, such as using earth-friendly packaging and ethical claims. Another popular claim to feature on products has been the reduction or elimination of waste, either in packaging or food ingredients.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all formula to creating a better-for-you positioning for a product, Williams added. “I don’t know if anybody has the magic bullet or the simple solution, but really to me, it’s all about doing the best you can do and to do better all the time,” said Williams.