The number of American consumers who consider healthiness of the food or beverage when making a purchase has risen in the past two years. While taste and price consistently have been the two factors affecting consumers' food and beverage purchases, healthiness in 2014 join the podium.
What is clean label?
“Clean Label” is no legally defined or proprietary claim. But considering consumers' opinion about it, clean-label products should not include additives in their formula and/or any unclear technical terms. As an outcome, consumers expect natural products, which gives them a good feeling.
How to clean existing products label?
Shorter ingredient list
Shorter, simpler ingredient listings are also in high demand. Most of the consumers do not want more information on pack, but need some useful information to help them to increase their knowledge about the product. Non-necessary ingredients could be deleted.
Replace artificial ingredients by natural alternatives
When buying clean-label products consumers put a special emphasis on “naturalness”. Consequently, there is a real incentive for manufacturers to replace artificial ingredients for more natural alternatives. It means taking out artificial colors, flavors, preservatives and replace them by natural ingredients. Consumers are specifically avoiding high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and GMOs for instance.
Reduce certain ingredients
Consumers avoid salt, sugar and fat even from natural sources. Reducing level of sodium is also part of cleaning a label for some consumers.
Replace ingredients names
Another solution to the clean label puzzle is to select ingredients that provide multiple functions and ingredients that can be described in simple terminology. It is particularly the case for “E” ingredients. For instance, E300 could be replaced by C vitamin on labels.
How to enhance consumers' experience?
Provide information regarding origins
A recent study on “transparency and the consumer” made by the German organization “Die Lebensmittelwirtschaft” shows that 24% of the respondents claim they are interested in the provenance of the food and 17% answer that their main interest lies in the used ingredients. “It's important for food manufacturers to partner with suppliers that are ready to co-create the next generation of clean label products,” says Jim Carr, director of food applications at Tate & Lyle.
What about regulation?
Having an ingredient list and a nutrition panel that doesn't worry consumers is already challenging, but the rules regarding those panels are about to change. In February, FDA announced new requirements for the panels regarding serving portion, calories, added sugar etc.
Many manufacturers had already selected Lascom CPG to assist them in their products management. Lascom PLM provides:
- A formulation tool to elaborate new formula from existing one or from scratch. It automatically calculates costs, nutritional values and product weight facilitating the R&D team's tasks. It is a very useful module to clean labels.
- A safer quality process to better comply with local and global certifications (INCO, FDA, etc.) Documentation are attached to specific raw material, formula or final products facilitating audits, claims, recalls or information
- A supplier portal to trace raw material origins and efficiently collaborate with suppliers