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Why Food Brands Are Moving to Clean Labels

What are clean labels?

A Clean Label is difficult to define since consumers have many different interpretations of this term and there is no actual standard. A Clean Label could refer to many things:Clean Label

  • An easy-to-understand label.
  • A simple ingredient list.
  • A product with ingredients one can pronounce.
  • A product without additives, artificial preservative, dyes, chemicals, etc.
  • A product with allergens clearly labeled.

Companies often use the phrase “Clean Label” to describe products made with ingredients that consumers understand. “Clean Label” doesn’t necessarily refer to only products manufactured with all-natural ingredients or without additives and preservatives. It simply means offering a clean label that provides clear information so a consumer can make the best decision based on their preferences.

Recent Research

Whatever the meaning of “Clean Labels,” research shows that most consumers avoid artificial or overly processed foods. A recent study by HealthFocus International shows that 77% of shoppers are interested in natural foods.

Many manufacturers are putting more effort into reducing the number of ingredients in many products to have cleaner labels.

The Hershey Co.

In many products, The Hershey Co. has switched to simpler ingredients. They are making products with recognizable ingredients such as milk from local farms, roasted California almonds, cocoa beans and sugar. They also share more information on ingredients such as sourcing.

Kraft Foods Group

Kraft Foods Group replaced the high-fructose corn syrup in original Capri Sun drink pouches, and are in the process of removing the artificial sweetener from the Roarin’ Waters drink pouches. Kraft has been actively removing undesirable ingredients from many products like Philadelphia cream cheese, Macaroni and Cheese and select Kraft Single sliced cheese to clean up their labels.

As consumers are over-loaded with information, the demand for simple, easy to understand labels on food and beverage products continues to rise.  Consumers want to know how their processed foods and beverage are prepared and what ingredients are in them.

The clean label approach is becoming more and more important to the consumer, making it difficult for the manufacture with no real definition of “Clean Labels.” The manufacture has to do what they think their consumer believes is clean.

What does “Clean Label” mean to you?

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