Manufacturers with a fresh perspective on additives and preservatives

Friday, 21 September, 2007

Food and drink manufacturers have turned their backs on additives and preservatives, preferring to go 'au naturel' and launch more 'additive- and preservative-free' products than ever before.

Catering for an increased public fixation with all things natural, latest research from the Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD) finds that this year, one in every four (24%) new food and drink products launched in the UK claimed to be additive and preservative free (up from just 8% in 2004).

"The assumption is that it is better for you to avoid additives and preservatives, as many Brits are concerned about the effect they may have on their health. Many parents also worry about how some additives affect their children's behaviour," said David Jago, director of Mintel GNPD Custom Solutions.

In 2006, 'additive and preservative free' became the number one health claim in the food and drinks market, overtaking 'low fat' for the first time ever.

"Low fat is not going to go away, but people in the UK today are focusing much more on balanced nutrition and avoiding over-processed foods. With food additives in the headlines once again, it is encouraging to see that companies' efforts in new product development are moving in the right direction," said David Jago.

The number of new additive- and preservative-free products launched in the UK actually doubled (101% growth) between 2004 and 2006, rising from 400 to just over 800 during the two-year period. Meanwhile, the number of new fat-reduced products rose a mere 5% from 490 in 2004 to only around 500 in 2006.

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