Clean label has become more pertinent in recent years and claim visibility has become more essential with the rise of e-commerce. The definition of clean products is also nudging past the limits of health and nutrition to cover a more holistic perception of wellness, including food safety and transparency. This report showcases case studies of how category growth is bolstered by the introduction of clean products and how companies tap into claims for a competitive edge.
Clean label has evolved in recent years from being exclusively linked to nutrition, to a broader definition of health and wellness. Clean label also includes the processing level of the product, the latter of which has gained much attention in certain parts of the world.
In emerging markets where relatively high price points are a significant barrier, increased attention on e-commerce channels will dampen consumer deterrence. Although traditional trade is still the most significant channel, e-commerce will strongly raise the awareness and visibility of clean label products.
Many manufacturers leverage clean label to position themselves as more healthful. This strategy has proven successful to debunk an unhealthy image of certain categories, as well as to differentiate brands from others. Despite the constant reinvention of clean label, its link to health is not likely to be severed.
Shifting meal occasions and a surge of players into packaged food are likely to see a stronger increase of clean label products. Key areas for growth include meal solutions at home, especially in markets where the demand for shelf stable packaged food is high due to a low penetration of fridge freezers.
An overall shift of consumer preference towards purposeful consumption and sustainability will benefit clean label as well and continue to challenge what it means for a brand to be “clean” – consequently raising the importance of natural food and clean label in an increasingly purpose-driven future of food.
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