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Companies and Consumers Set Their Sights on Products with “Clean Labels”

The supplement and functional foods market is full of increasingly popular, wholesome sounding labels, including “Organic,” “Non-GMO,” and “Natural,” to name just a few. Yet there is a new buzzword in the industry that may be less familiar—“clean label.” According to a report on the website, Natural Products Insider, “clean label” has no official definition; nevertheless, the general idea behind the “clean-label” term is to describe the current surge in demand for products that are minimally processed and chemical-free. The “clean-label” movement includes organic, non-GMO, and natural products, as well as any other products containing a minimal amount of artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, and ingredients.

A recent survey of more than 5,000 consumers found that a product’s ingredient list ranks second in importance only to price when it comes to deciding what to buy—even beating out the importance of brand. Companies are racing to develop and launch clean-label products to appeal to these consumers, and to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Here’s a quick rundown of a few trending categories within the clean-label market:

  • Functional Foods. The trend towards minimally processed products includes a shift away from traditional vitamin supplements and towards functional food supplements, made with organic or food-based ingredients.
  • Sweeteners. Consumers are starting to shy away from sweeteners like high-fructose corn syrup, aspartame, and sugar. Be on the lookout for alternative sweeteners such as stevia or monk fruit.
  • Botanical Extracts. Companies sometimes use chemical solvents to extract active constituents from herbs. Be sure to check out up-and-coming products that use water-based or other natural extraction methods.

Source: Natural Products Insider

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