- Consumers may demand clean labels, but they don't necessary require them for every type of product, according to a presentation at the International Baking Industry Exposition by Abby Ceule, director of market management for breads at Corbion Caravan, Food Business News reported.
- Consumers are less concerned about ingredients and clean labels when it comes to sweet products, compared to segments like bread.
- Corbion Caravan also researched consumer definitions of the term "clean label" and found they vary from a focus on ingredients to a "healthier" label with reduced calories and fat.
The perception of what clean label means can essentially be broken down into two camps: ingredients-focused and nutrition-focused. Companies can attempt to target one camp or the other, or they can try to appease both by embracing ingredients that are clean and natural while also being nutritious.
Even consumers who regularly read labels don't expect all products to have clean labels, particularly indulgent foods like sweets and desserts or certain snack foods. Depending on the product, manufacturers may be able to bypass clean label concerns entirely, so it may not always be worth the investment in ingredients and R&D.
Other research suggests that consumers are more intently looking for indulgent products that also align with better-for-you trends in ingredients, nutrients and serving sizes. Through careful research and testing with a product or brand's target demographic, manufacturers can discern whether it's worth trying to make health-related label claims or strive for a clean label for that particular product.