The Clean Label Trend
Nowadays, consumers have become more and more concerned about what is in their food and they are looking for natural food products without ingredients that have alarmed people in the past and with clearer and simpler claims; in other words, they are seeking ‘clean label’ food products which retain their high quality. But, what does clean label stand for?
Clean label is not a trend anymore, it is considered to be standard for many consumers and food manufacturers. Consequently, the food industry keeps moving toward such products, in order to meet consumers’ demands. However, despite the fact that the food product label has been the standard source of information for the consumers to date, the ‘clean label’ term has not been clearly defined; even the updated Food Information to the Consumer (FIC) does not provide information related to clean labels.
We conducted research and found the following common guidelines. To better align themselves with clean labeling, where possible, food producers should;
- Reduce the number of ingredients used in a product formulation
- Avoid using ingredients that have alarmed people in the past (i.e. salt, sugar, artificial additives, preservatives etc.) by reformulating the product. Where the ingredients cannot be completely replaced, a reduction of the content of these ingredients in the formulation could reorder the list of ingredients, not only a positive step for public health but also creating a cleaner label. Use ingredients that are easily recognised/accepted by consumers; often the names of the ingredients themselves are more acceptable than the E number notation
- Avoid using claims that may cause confusion to the consumers
- Provide transparency in food labeling
If reformulation is necessary, it can be challenging but possible to produce a ‘clean label’ product whilst maintaining the organoleptic properties, product safety & stability of the original product. Creme Global worked with the Food and Drink Industry Ireland to quantify reformulation efforts of major food and drink companies and this study revealed significant reductions in sugar, salt, calories, total fat and saturated fat.
How do clean labels impact consumers and their dietary quality overall? At Creme Global, we can calculate daily intakes and use predictive intake models to assess the impact new product formulation have on a given population. To find out more about our Creme Nutrition® platform and services, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Reformulation report shows significant reduction in salt, fat and sugar intakes in Ireland
- The Sugar Crash
- Don L. Zink (1997). The impact of consumer demands and trends on food processing. Emerging Infectious diseases, 4, 467-469.
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