“Clean label” is a funny term. No one in the industry seems to agree on an exact definition, yet suppliers, manufacturers, and retailers are increasingly responding to and driving the movement. Few consumers have even heard of the term, yet more and more of them are demanding food, supplement, personal care, and household products that adhere to its strictures of fewer synthetic ingredients, fewer ingredients overall, “free-from” formulations, and transparent supply chains.
While what precisely qualifies a product as “clean” shifts from person to person, there are certain things that clearly place a product squarely in the “unclean” camp. These are obvious things like high-fructose corn syrup, GMO ingredients, parabens, and artificial flavors and colors, and lesser knowns like carrageenan, soy lecithin, and sodium phosphates.
So while only 23 percent of consumers surveyed say they have heard the term “clean label” and have at least some idea what it might mean, 83 percent say they actively try to avoid high-fructose corn syrup, and 71 percent say “no” to artificial colors and flavors. And, indeed, as the data on the following pages shows, those and other ingredients are quickly on their way out of the natural channel, with mass retail following suit.
In this first-ever Nutrition Business Journal Clean Label Report, we use data and insights from NBJ, New Hope’s NEXT Trend Tool, and other sources to detail where those label villains show up, the shelves they’re disappearing from, how suppliers and manufacturers are replacing them, and how smart brands are leveraging consumer demand to their advantage.
This report includes sales and growth estimates for natural and organic foods and beverages, dietary supplements, ingredients, and person-care products. Additionally, you will find:
Qualitative and quantitative consumer data, including sentiment, purchase intent, and weighted values for label claims
Analysis and discussion of trends driving the clean label movement, including product innovation and marketing strategies
Detailed sections for ingredient and product categories like non-GMO, ancient grains, organic, and gluten-free
Sales figures for the top ingredient-supply companies
A spreadsheet with all included data for presentations and reports