16 Jun 2020

The age of clean label: what consumers really want

“Substance over style” and “360° transparency” are the new priorities for today’s confident shopper.

A new exclusive report, “The Age of Clean Label”* by Nordmann partner Ingredion, shows that we are now living in the age of clean label, with consumer scrutiny of products extending beyond the label and ingredients, pushing and expanding the definition of clean label to include issues such as packaging, food waste and sourcing.

Major trend
Clean label is now an undeniable and established trend in the food industry. Building trust with consumers in the age of clean label means manufacturers must come clean on all areas of product development.

Research findings

  • Clean label redefined: Consumers are looking for total transparency from the food and beverage industry, with 62% of European consumers stating that their interest in how food is sourced, produced and packaged has increased in the last two years.
  • The hard truths: Consumers want – and can recognize – substance over style. A product’s physical appearance has become a significant influence. However, attractive on-pack designs with natural colors and idyllic imagery rated lowest on purchasing influence. Savvy shoppers want full disclosure – quite literally, with a marked preference for transparent (see-through) packaging.  
  • What this means for manufacturers: While consumer tastes and trends move fast, manufacturers can help make new product development quicker, and to do so in alignment with consumer expectations and the clean ingredients that they like. More and more, manufacturers will need to show environmentally-conscious customers that their food has been produced and packaged both sustainably and ethically – particularly since many consumers also think manufacturers should make the reduction of packaging waste a top priority.

*The new research was conducted on behalf of Ingredion in June 2019 and consists of qualitative and quantitative opinions of over 1600 consumers and in-depth interviews with leading food and beverage multinationals and SMEs.

“The Age of Clean Label” report can be accessed in full at: https://bit.ly/37MVPjb