Baby boomers — not millennials — are driving the clean label trend
- Baby boomers are driving the clean label trend, according to information presented by Category Management Solutions and Euromonitor at a SupplySide West education session this week, reports Food Business News.
- Clean label purchasing drivers include boomers' interest in functional foods that will help them live longer and prevent or treat ailments, as well as fear of what may be in the foods that they eat.
- A general lack of trust in food manufacturers means consumers want claims on packaging supported by a third party, according to Alan Rownan, ethical labels analyst for Euromonitor.
Millennials may snag much of a manufacturer's attention these days, but older consumers have their own perceptions and attitudes toward food that companies should keep in mind.
Unlike previous generations, boomers are staying active, minding their health and wellness, and living longer. As a result, they seek functional foods and clean label products that will help them age well.
“Health, energy and wellness are major goals for boomers and other older adults," Patrick Luchsinger, marketing manager of nutrition for Ingredion, wrote in an email to Food Dive. "They are focused on fending off aging and increasingly understand the role of a healthy diet in extending their active years. This is where functional ingredients can be targeted and messaged specifically."
However, older adults are often ignored by food companies, which have instead turned much of their attention to figuring out what younger shoppers want.
“Older adults have long been forgotten in terms of their purchasing power and the attention they’re given whether it’s their health or nutritional needs, or just their interests and values,” Alexandra Lewin-Zwerdling, a vice president of research and partnerships for the International Food Information Council, recently told Food Dive.
Overlooking this group can prove to be a costly mistake, since boomers still represent a disproportionate amount of the nation’s wealth and spending power. According to Nielsen, boomers account for 49% of all U.S. spending on consumer packaged goods, or about $230 billion annually.
Clean labels mean big business, too. Sales of conventional products are declining, while those advertising themselves as being simple, clean, sustainable and free of artificial ingredients are on the rise, according to recent Nielsen analysis. Euromonitor forecasts clean label product sales in the U.S., U.K., China and Germany could reach $112 billion by 2020, according to Food Business News.
Despite popularity with baby boomers, there is plenty of economic incentive for the food industry to move in the clean label direction. Survey results show a majority of consumers are willing to pay 10% more on a food or drink product containing known, trusted ingredients. Eighteen percent of consumers said they would pay a premium of 75% or more for favored ingredients.
- Food Business News Baby boomers driving clean label trend
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