Covid-19’s Impact On The Clean Label Trend
The clean label trend is evolving in light of Covid-19. The sales of clean label ingredients are estimated to grow by 6.75% annually by 2024 and consumer purchasing patterns in light of COVID-19 may push this to an even higher level, Greg Stucky from Insights Now Inc. comments in Keith Nunes article on “Covid-19’s impact on how consumers perceive ‘clean.’” InsightsNow, a Chicago-based research agency, has identified three global insights about the clean label trend and how it develops before and during the corona pandemic.
“Culture matters”, as the first insight, addresses how communicating about clean label becomes more culture-centric. Pre-COVID the respondents in markets like the UK, Germany and France were influenced by claims such as sustainably farmed, no artificial flavors, minimally processed, simple, fresh and no antibiotics. These markets are still in the free-from stage of clean label while in markets like Brazil, China, Mexico and Turkey consumers tend to be more specific about the clean label claims that influence them. The 2nd insight shows that trends that have been present prior to COVID receive a push, in particular the ingredient focus. Terms like natural, no artificial flavors and organic have been relevant prior, and are getting an additional importance this year. “The third insight identified in the survey is nutrition beats taste in some instances, which means some consumers are more willing to make taste tradeoffs to get the nutrition they desire. Data from the survey showed that of the 10 countries surveyed, in nine of them the percentage of consumers seeking healthy ingredients was higher than those consumers seeking ingredients that taste good,” Keith Nunes wrote.
These are interesting data points that underline clean label and nutrition topics being increasingly in focus and even more so in light of COVID. The clean label trend has its origin in supermarkets. Roughly a decade ago, consumers were increasingly concerned about the ingredients that they perceived as artificial and questioned the rationale for being used in food and beverages in the first place. During lockdowns this year, many consumers limited their shopping frequency, and ideally aimed for food products with longer shelf-life yet clean label and ‘better for me’ attributes as well.
Food and beverage manufacturers are tasked to find the balance and whilst clean label requirements are high, the visual appearance of food and drink products should not be compromised. Clean label can have different facets depending on the product and concept requirements. Sensient offers a wide range of plant based natural coloring for food and beverage products. Depending on whether the primary objective is to avoid artificial ingredients, reduce E-numbers on the label, seek food ingredients as such, or work with an ‘all natural claim’ – feel free to reach out for a consultation to get just the right coloring solution that fits your needs.
If you would like to read the full article by Keith Nunes, it is available at the link below: