Clean label continues to climb food manufacturer p...

Clean label continues to climb food manufacturer priority list


Food and drink manufacturers across Europe – including bakeries – are set to prioritise clean label ingredients according to research released by Ingredion.

According to British Baker, the findings from Ingredion’s study – named Atlas – was conducted in partnership with Clear Seas Research across a number of years.

It found 99 per cent of European manufacturers now see clean label products as essential to their business strategy, and 87 per cent were already incorporating the movement into their offerings.

It is anticipated “clean label” will account for more than 70 per cent of the total portfolio of the companies that already produce clean label goods within the next two years. This figure is a large increase on the 52 per cent found in 2021.

One reason for this growth has been attributed to a growing consumer preference for both transparency and simplicity in ingredients. In fact, “clean label” was even touted as one of the top trends for bakeries in 2024.

However, it’s important to note the term clean label can mean different things to different people, including the use of store cupboard ingredients but also extending to where they are sourced from and whether they are certified as sustainable.

Ingredion senior marketing manager – clean and simple food ingredients Constantin Drapatz said to British Baker more than half of the businesses that were surveyed had reported increased revenue and margins without raising prices after adopting clean label strategies.

“It’s evident that clean label and nutrition profile are not just consumer preferences but are driving business growth,” he said.

“The industry’s increasing move towards sugar reduction, especially through low calorie, natural origin sweeteners, aligns with the health conscious consumer base and fosters innovation in product development.

“This shift meets the demand for healthier options and also marks a broader trend towards health and wellness, highlighting the critical role of ingredient selection in future food and beverage offerings.

“By focusing on ingredients that are recognisable and part of a short ingredients list, manufacturers can tap into a growing market segment that values both transparency and quality.

“This approach responds directly to the consumer desire for cleaner labels and presents an opportunity for brands to differentiate themselves in a competitive market – and shows how manufacturers are directly contributing to a healthier food ecosystem.”

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