What Ingredients are Food Manufacturers Phasing Out
Clean label is no longer a trend, it’s the rule. Many upstart food companies enter the market with clean label credentials built in, and while legacy brands are under pressure to follow suit, it can be an onerous and expensive endeavor.
Until a few years ago, the onus was on the consumer to check ingredient lists. But as chains such as Panera Bread and Whole Foods released lengthy no-no lists, and even mainstream fast food restaurants like McDonald’s joined the drive toward simpler foods, the push to rid products of artificial colors and flavors, preservatives and high fructose corn syrup while embracing cage-free eggs and antibiotic-free chicken has shifted toward the companies themselves.
So which ingredients are the first to be phased out of products when manufacturers aim to “clean up” their products?
“Iconic brands walk a fine line. They have built up a food experience but need to meet new perspectives,” said Tamara Barnett, vice president of strategic insights at The Hartman Group. “A lot of the time consumers already perceive these products as being made with simple ingredients, so shouting from the rooftops that you have taken out the high fructose corn syrup and soy lecithin might be counterproductive.”
Manufacturers of children’s products are more likely to have a long list of ingredients to eliminate, including artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors and preservatives – and to give all of them equal importance – while other manufacturers may prioritize unpopular ingredients, such as artificial sweeteners.
With more consumers than ever saying they prefer simpler foods with easy-to-understand ingredient lists, having a clean label is no longer an optional extra for manufacturers.
Here are the top priority ingredients for food and drink makers that have been targeted in the clean label movement…
1. Artificial Sweeteners
2. High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
3. Trans Fats
4. Artificial Colors
5. Artificial Flavors
6. Artificial Preservatives