Two-thirds of consumers worldwide are checking the label for ingredients

Dive Brief:

  • Consumers in the U.S. and across the globe are paying more attention to the ingredients on the labels, a trend food and beverage companies have noticed and responded to as of late. This is according to consumer research from GNT Group, which manufactures fruit and vegetable juice-based colorants.
  • The study found that 64% of Americans and 53% of Europeans examine food and beverage labels before making a purchase. That number jumps to 75% in South America and 84% in Asia. Five years ago, the Journal of the American Dietetic Association reported that 51.6% paid attention to the ingredients list.
  • According to the study, the information consumers pay most attention to are easy-to-understand ingredient information, no artificial additives, free from preservatives, and no artificial colors.

Dive Insight:

"The study’s results clearly show that natural ingredients become more important all around the globe. Many manufacturers already comply with consumers' wishes by, for example, using colouring foods exclusively made from natural raw materials and clearly indicating that on the label. This development will continue to gather momentum in the upcoming years," said GNT Group managing director Hendrik Hoeck.

This sentiment is clearly felt in the U.S., where food companies are already replacing artificial ingredients with more natural ingredients. General Mills recently announced it would remove artificial flavors and colors from its cereal brands, and last week, the company said that its Lucky Charms brand would be gluten-free by this fall. General Mills is just one of the latest in a string of major food and beverage companies to make these pledges.

As a less voluntary move, food companies are removing partially hydrogenated oils from products over the next three years, as mandated by the FDA. This switch could cost companies money over time.

Top image credit: Fotolia