Clean and clear labelling now the norm
The term “clean labelling”, coined by Innova Market Insights in its 2015 trends listing, is also now becoming mainstream. Clean and clear labels are key concerns for the food and beverage industry, featuring in all Innova Market Insights’ Top Trends forecasts in recent years.
Almost 28% of global food and beverage launches used one or more clean label claims (natural, organic, no additives/preservatives and GMO-free) in 2018, according to Innova Market Insights.
Consumers are also increasingly drawn to clean label areas such as vegan-friendly, raw and paleo diets and minimal processing, with emphasis on cold-pressing and high-pressure treatment. No additives/preservatives labels are most prevalent, used in 15% of global launches in 2018, and over 20% in the USA. This is running alongside increasing ethical concerns, including fair trade and sustainability, packaging, the environment and animal welfare.
While clean and clear labels dominate consumer preference, taste is still the primary factor influencing purchasing decisions. However, the clean label trend has increased in recent years and “broadened out into a wider movement, focusing on an increasingly mindful consumer trying to make responsible food choices that are not only tasty and healthy, but also sustainable and ethical”, said Lu Ann Williams, Director of Innovation at Innova Market Insights.
GMO-free labelling is the second-highest clean label claim in the USA, well ahead of both organic at over 13% and natural at 8%. GMO-free labelling featured on 17.8% of launches in the US, compared with under 6% globally.
Rising competition among clean labelling means product labels have had to focus on value-added products, combining specialist organic brands and organic and GMO-free variants in existing conventional ranges.
As organic and GMO-free claims become more ubiquitous, companies are now relying on additional benefits, such as local ingredients and sourcing, minimal processing, premium-style recipes and flavours, and the use of seasonal and limited editions.
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