For some time now, consumers have been reading bottle and can labels in a drive to avoid unwanted ingredients in their beverage products. This trend has had a huge impact on beverage manufacturers. Luckily, companies like Ingredion are helping manufacturers to create products with clean labels. Today, I have an opportunity to find out more about the clean label trend by talking to Daniel Haley, Director, Global Wholesome Springboard, Ingredion Incorporated.
The clean label trend began in the UK, when consumers, motivated by food safety scares and scandals that received significant media attention, started to focus on and become increasingly aware of what went into their food. Today, it is a global megatrend that has and will continue to impact large-scale industry sectors like food and beverages, pet food, and personal care. Drawing on proprietary consumer research, Ingredion was at the forefront of recognizing this shift in opinion and preferences, which led it to pioneer research to develop a wide range of clean label ingredients to meet this emerging need in the food industry. Looking at the data in subsequent waves of research that we have commissioned, we expect the industry to continue witnessing growth in the demand for clean, simple and authentic products.
For over 100 years, we have been providing the world with innovative and on-trend ingredient solutions. We have worn hats as inventors, pioneers, trendsetters and leaders, expanding the business both geographically through strategic acquisitions and joint ventures, as well as through advancements in product technology and operational excellence. We have been privileged to have been a leading ingredient supplier to a range of industries, and one of FORTUNE 100’s fastest-growing companies.
As one of the world’s leading global food ingredient companies, we aim to drive growth in speciality ingredients. This focus, coupled with our cutting-edge insights, has enabled us to become the global expert in functional clean label ingredients, alongside other texture solutions.
Our thought leadership in translating consumer trends into winning products and services, broadening ingredient portfolio as well as geographic scope, coupled with operating excellence, has helped us successfully and consistently meet the needs of our customers over the years.
There is no doubt that the clean label trend is growing strongly and globally on the back of an array of key drivers. For example, in the Philippines, health concerns are the primary motive for looking out for front of pack claims and ingredient lists Filipino consumers are actively searching for such food products as an enabler to establish healthier diets. On the other hand, Thai consumers are driven by a desire to improve and maintain a good personal image as they like to be perceived as people who lead a healthy lifestyle.
While there are different key drivers for distinct groups of consumers, the stimuli for their emergence are the same – rising affluence and educational levels. As demand for clean label products continues to strengthen, it is safe to say that clean label is steadily shifting from an emerging trend to a mainstream phenomenon.
For instance, the UK clean label market is so advanced that there is an automatic expectation for products to be clean label in many segments – in fact, contents of the ingredient list is the second most important factor for UK consumers when choosing a product, behind price.
In a global survey of food and beverage manufacturers, commissioned by Ingredion, over 80% of respondents confirmed their belief that clean label is here to stay and that they were in the process of reformulating products for launch in the next two years.
It is undeniable that clean label demand is growing stronger both regionally and globally. An increasing number of consumers desire products that are made with ingredients that are easy to recognise and therefore considered more familiar and less processed. Accordingly, reformulation will become a necessity among manufacturers. By working with companies with a track record and strong expertise in clean label reformulation, manufacturers can be confident that they will be able to achieve their reformulation goals flawlessly and in a shorter space of time. As the pioneer in this space Ingredion has developed a wide range of solutions over a period of more than 20 years, and we have many years of experience in helping our customers reformulate their products successfully to fulfil the industry’s demand for clean label. We are confident in our capabilities to work with manufacturers to develop the ideal product that their customers are looking for, without compromising eating quality.
Among the regions, Europe is the most developed market, unsurprisingly, considering the clean label movement originated from within. However, growth continues, and the movement is also gaining rapid momentum in the other regions of Asia Pacific, Latin America, and North America. Asia Pacific, in particular, has been experiencing strong growth, mainly due to rising affluence and education levels.
Since 2012, the total number of new product launches with clean label claims has been expanding at an impressive rate of 16 percent per annum. Today, a whopping 33 percent of NPL comes with clean label claims such as no additives, no artificial ingredients, natural, organic and non-GMO. In line with the projected rise in spending power and literacy rate across consumers in different regions, the interest in clean labels is expected to continue strengthening.
6. Can you give us examples of solutions developed by Ingredion that have helped manufacturers achieve clean label branding objectives?
At Ingredion, we have kept pace with consumer preferences and market demand for clean labels through our proprietary research. This helps us better acquaint ourselves with customer trends and in some cases, even pre-empt them. As the pioneer in the clean label movement, we have developed a wide range of solutions over a period of more than 20 years, and have many years of experience in helping our customers reformulate their products in order to fulfil the industry demand for clean label.
Our portfolio of more than 25 NOVATION functional native starches can help manufacturers formulate on-trend, clean label products rich in texture and taste, across a broad range of applications. This year, Ingredion added HOMECRAFT® multi-functional rice and tapioca flour to our range of clean label ingredient solutions. These revolutionary clean label flours provide exceptional flavour release and enhanced indulgent textures that allow food manufacturers to reduce fat content and improve nutrition profiles in a wide array of applications. The launch of these flours is the first time manufacturers will be able to convert to highly desirable ‘rice flour’ or ‘tapioca flour’ labels and simultaneously achieve the robust functionality, process stability and shelf life typically associated with artificial ingredients – unlocking opportunities for manufacturers to generate significant differentiation by increasing the perception and appeal of their products to deliver what consumers want.
For more information visit Ingredion website.