Labels may transition to 'clear' from 'clean'

by Jeff Gelski
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DUIVEN, THE NETHERLANDS — The food industry becoming more transparent should lead to more use of the term “clear label” in 2015, according to a list of food and beverage trends released Oct. 30 by Innova Market Insights.

“The move from ‘clean’ to ‘clear’ labeling is a key trend for 2015, reflecting a move to clearer and simpler claims and packaging for maximum transparency,” said Lu Ann Williams, director of innovation at Duiven-based Innova Market Insights. “Meeting the needs of the millennial consumer has also become a key focus, as has targeting the demands of the gourmet consumer at home, re-engineering the snacks market for today’s lifestyles and combating obesity with a focus on positive nutrition.”

Nearly a quarter of all food and beverage product launches tracked by Innova feature a clean label claim. Growing concerns over the lack of a definition for “natural” have brought a need for clarity and specific details, which will lead to more transparency in labeling, according to Innova.

Innova listed four other trends: convenience for foodies, marketing to millennials, snacks, and good fats, good carbs.

Convenience for foodies: Cooking TV shows and bloggers by foodies have increased interest in home cooking. Demand has followed for a greater choice of fresh foods, ingredients for cooking from scratch and a wider use of recipe suggestions.

Millennials: Generally of the ages 15 to 35, millennials account for about one-third of the global population. They are technologically savvy and socially engaged. Millennials are less brand loyal than older consumers and want to know the story behind products and brands.

Snacking: The consumption of quick and healthy foods keeps increasing while formal mealtime occasions continue to decline. More snacks now target specific moments of consumption.

Good fats, good carbs: Emphasis on unsaturated and natural fats and oils has grown. Butter has returned to favor as a natural alternative to artificial margarine. Consumers are favoring naturally-occurring sugar at the expense of added sugars and artificial sweeteners.

Innova plans to list five more trends for 2015 on Nov. 6. In previous years Innova Market Insights has forecast such trends as sustainability (2008), free-from (2010), softer claims (2011) and location (2012).
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