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Clean labelling is essentially a consumer-driven concept which entails the use of simple, safe and minimally processed ingredients with negligible use of synthetic additives. The clean label encompasses all those label claims such as “all natural”, “minimally processed,” and “non-GMO” that sets them apart from the conventional processed food items. The crux of clean labelling is to drastically reduce ingredients that are usually unidentifiable, perceived to be artificial or synthetic; and those that serve no obvious nutritional role. The global market for clean labelling thus relies strongly on consumer perceptions and retailer positioning of such products.
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The global market for vegan products is already exhibiting exponential growth trajectory, the dominant position of the dairy industry has also been disrupted owing to the growing consumer’s inclination towards plant-based alternatives. This has prompted manufacturers to not only revamp the composition fo their products but also to ensure that they are meeting the need for a clean label. Reformulation of the processed food products in line with the clean labelling without sacrificing on taste, flavour or the overall eating experience is going to be a challenging aspect for food processors.
The innovation factor to explore novel and natural ingredients offering similar functionalities as that of synthetic food additives is expected to provide future growth in clean labelling market. Companies such as Ingredion have already concretised their efforts in this direction by exploring the development of new clean label emulsifiers and preservatives for this growing market application.
Some of the key companies that are present in clean labelled food additives market include Kerry Group, Archer Daniels Midland Company, Koninklijke DSM N.V., Cargill Incorporated, Corbion N.V., Chr. Hansen A/S, Ingredion Incorporated, and Tate & Lyle PLC. The manufacturers have realised that clean-labelling is not a trend or fad but a “new-norm that encompasses all the products in the processed food category.
· Natural Preservatives
· Starch and Sweeteners
· Natural Flavours
· Natural Colours
· Meat and Meat Based Products
· North America (U.S., Canada, and Mexico)
· Europe (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, U.K., Russia, and Rest of Europe)
· Asia Pacific (China, India, Japan, Australia, and Rest of Asia Pacific)
· South America (Brazil, Argentina, and Rest of South America)
· Middle East & Africa (South Africa and Rest of ME&A)
Starch and sweeteners are emerging as one of the rapidly growing segments in the clean labelling market owing to their ubiquitous utility factor - functional native starches are known to offer better processability by withstanding the rigours of processing techniques, they are also contributing to the overall textural enhancements in the final product at the same time retaining the consumer-preferred label of ‘flour’ or ‘starch’.
Natural preservatives have also witnessed a robust uptick in their demands with growing consumer’s inclination towards food products that are devoid of synthetic inputs – natural antioxidants and antimicrobials are extensively applied in the processed food products such as dairy, meat and snacks offerings.
The demand for clean labelling is robust in the global marketplace, however, regional differences arise based on how to clean space is established within the key countries of those regions. Matured markets of Western Europe and the U.S. now emphasise clean-label as a prerequisite due to a high level of awareness whereas emerging markets of Eastern Europe, Asia Pacific and the Middle East are at a nascent stage with key players setting the benchmark of clean labelling and then embarking on the extensive branding of those products. The rise in awareness towards clean labelling is nonetheless phenomenal with emerging markets – consumers’ in Africa and the Middle East are becoming increasingly tech-savvy by utilising mobile devices, apps and websites to know about ingredients, its source as well as its associated label claims.
The consumers in developed markets are interested in the “organic”, “natural”, “whole-foods”, “better-for-you”, and “sustainable” aspects of clean labelling – the manufacturers are thus responding by communicating through their labels about how the food is grown, procured, processed and subsequently packaged. Free-from” claims are also popular in the mature markets of Europe where consumers prefer buying those products that are labelled as pesticide-, allergen- and additive-free.
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