Clean Labels: From Trend To Movement

Today’s consumer is more interested in eating fresher and cleaner foods. Industry experts have noticed that many food companies have adopted the movement for cleaner foods.  Companies like Campbell’s Soup and PepsiCo have implemented food transparency through clean labeling. There is also a rise in food start-ups applying clean labels with their new products.

Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer, Suzanne Ginestro from Campbell Soup, noted that modern consumers are moving towards cleaner labels, transparency, as well as opting for products that are healthier and have ingredients that are easier to understand. People want transparency on all kinds of products from household cleaning supplies to electronics. Consumers just want to know what is inside the products they are using.

Why Transparency And Clean Labeling? 

So why are people so particular about clean labeling and transparency? Becky Frankiewicz from Quaker Foods North America indicated that consumers want to have more choices and this can only be achieved if they know the ingredients of the products they are buying.

While clean labels promote companies to indicate all ingredients on their labels, it does not mean that they should only focus on healthy ingredients yet. Companies have adopted the clean label movement to prove that they care about their consumers and their products. It also enables consumers to make informed decisions about their purchases.

Some food manufacturers still include ingredients that will make their products more palatable and that means using fat and sugar. The clean label is there to educate consumers about the types of ingredients utilized in the product. It is all about giving customers access to different food choices.

Clean Label: Trend or Movement?

What started out as a fad has become a movement that will surely stay. Today, many food startups have found success in introducing healthier foods and beverages to consumers. Large food companies are also capitalizing on the opportunity by introducing healthier product choices to their customers. Executives from large food manufacturing companies noted that the clean label movement had pushed brands to go back to their old business practices.

For instance, the 140-year old company Quaker Foods first started using fresh ingredients and developed ways to package their products so that it is easier for the consumers who live in urban places to enjoy healthy foods—similar to those living on the farm.

From trend to movement, clean labels are here to stay. Brands that focus on delivering healthy food with simple ingredients will win, plain and simple. Don’t be surprised to see more acquisitions of small, successful brands over the next five years as large companies like PepsiCo try to a secure a competitive advantage in this evolving space.

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Mintel’s 2017 Global Food and Drink Industry Trends

Now that 2016 is over, it’s time to look at the food and beverage trends shaping up to make an impact in 2017. Mintel recently announced the top six trends that they believe will see fast growth this year. Check out their predictions below!

1. Traditional Processing

While our food today is made using modern processing, many people are now opting for foods made by conventional processing techniques. Companies are looking at using age-old formulation as well as classic flavors. People tend to view these foods as safe, reliable, and recognizable. This trend can be attributed to the recent rise of ancient recipes, cooking practices, and traditions that have resurfaced to incite the feeling of familiarity in the kitchen and food.

2. Plant-Based Formulation

Plant-based diets are becoming more popular, and Mintel expects this to be a huge area for growth in the industry. As a result, the food and drink industry is developing more products that emphasize using plant-based ingredients. This trend will not only be perfect for vegans and vegetarians but also flexitarians. We predict there will be an increased consumption of vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, grains and other botanical products.

3. Zero Food Waste

The year 2017 will be the year of the environment. But how does that relate to food? The answer is zero food waste. Today, many food manufacturers and restaurant owners want to address the growing problem of food waste. There will be an increasing awareness among people to use “ugly” produce as well as repurposing food ingredients to avoid wastage.

4. Night Shift Market

In today’s fast-paced life, many people have to work at night when we are all asleep. This lifestyle creates a new market niche for food manufacturers. Companies are developing products that are solely dedicated to nighttime workers as well as those who stay up late at night. Products such as teas made from lavender and chamomile are now introduced to night owls so that they can relax better just before their bedtime.

5. Healthy Food for Everyone

In the past years, only people from the higher income brackets could afford to eat healthily. Fortunately, 2017 will be the year when even lower-income consumers can afford to eat healthily.  2016 helped drive this change with companies like Annie’s leading the Everybunny campaign and other organizations lobbying for subsidized fruits and vegetables to keep prices low.

6. Convenient Healthy Foods

Convenience has been driving change in food for over 30 years, but the new opportunity is in creating fast, healthy foods. People want to eat food conveniently so many food and drink manufacturers are developing new ways to deliver their products faster without compromising the taste and nutritional content.

If you have noticed, the trends of 2017 revolve around the idea of eating convenient, healthy, and reliable foods. It’s not that surprising if you’ve watched the market over the past few years. It will be interesting to see which companies take advantage of these growth opportunities in 2017 and beyond.

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Vegetable Powders: A Game Changer in The Healthy Food Movement

The whole food movement has increased people’s consumption of fruits and vegetables. This trend has also led food producers to offer fruit and vegetable powders that are used to flavor and enhance food and beverages. Dehydrated vegetable and fruit powders are more practical than their fresh counterparts for food manufacturing. They have a longer shelf life and some powders like NutriFusion are packed with essential vitamins and minerals.
While powders are high in demand, the problem is that most of them exist with bland flavors and washed out colors. This is caused by poor extraction, processing, and storage. The developing food powder industry uses different drying techniques to produce vibrant fruit and vegetable powders.

vegetable powder fruit powderSensient Natural Ingredients, a company in Turlock in California, manufactures fruit and vegetable powders. They use methods like air, vacuum, and freeze drying. The drying technique employed depends on the types of ingredients used. For instance, air drying is utilized to dry herbs while vacuum drying is used to retain more nutrients from the dried food.

Challenges in Making Whole Food Powders

Drying fruits and vegetables is not a walk in the park. Several types of fresh fruit and vegetables can be powdered, and manufacturers face a few obstacles. For instance, high sugary foods are difficult to process because they stick to everything. Moreover, the sugar found in sweet fruits can be difficult to deal with in high-temperature drying because they burn even from the start. Drying leafy greens and herbs are also very delicate to handle and are more at risk to spoilage or decay.

The problems encountered during the drying process drive manufacturers to optimize their harvest timing by processing the materials within a short yet specified time frame to prevent spoilage and decay. They also use technology like infrared light to kill pathogens and preserve colors, nutrients, and texture.

The Future of Fruit and Vegetable Powders

fruit powders vegetable powders greens powders vitamins mineralsOver the next ten years, we will see a lot of fruits and vegetables turned into powder for nutrition, flavor, and texture in our packaged foods. One of the reasons why this trend will continue to flourish is because of the convenience. Whole food powders like NutriFusion tend to last for a long time without losing their nutritional value. They can be used in augmenting the nutrient content of the food that you are cooking or can be utilized as emergency food.

Astronauts will not be the only ones to benefit from powdered fruits and vegetables. The industry is already buzzing with wild dried fruits and vegetables like powdered coconut water, watermelon juice powder, tart cherry, and shiitake mushroom powder. NutriFusion separates itself from the pack by delivering blends of fresh fruit and veggies for optimal nutrition content. In many of our blends, you will find apple, blueberry, cherry, cranberry, shiitake mushroom, broccoli, tomato, carrot, orange, spinach, beet, and strawberry. The combination of those fruits and vegetables can deliver up to 12 different plant-based vitamins for food and beverage brands.

Food manufacturers also see an increasing trend in superfoods being turned to powder. Ingredients like acai berry, Camu Camu, cranberry, goji berry, and acerola will be mainstream in the future. The challenge here for food scientists is how to maintain a high ORAC value (an indicator of antioxidant capacity) despite the drying process.


NutriFusion Fruit and Vegetable Powders Nutritional Claims FDA

Nielsen Says Consumers Are Now Ingredient Inspectors

With the advent of healthy living and clean eating, more people all over the world now practice due diligence when it comes to their food. In the recent Nielsen’s Global Health and Ingredient-Sentiment Survey, 70% of the respondents said that they make dietary choices to avoid health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity. Nielsen has nicknamed these consumers the “ingredient inspectors.”


People Are Willing to Pay More for Healthy Foods

Around 68% of the respondents surveyed agreed that they are willing to pay more for healthy food and beverages. This was supported by U.S. retail sales data which indicated that the sales of health and wellness products are outpacing other types of fast-moving consumer goods.

According to Director Andrew Mandzy from Neilsen’s Strategic Health and Wellness Insights group, most consumers want to eat healthily. But they need the commitment from food manufacturers to create products that are made from simple and clean ingredients. Consumers depend on food companies to develop “better-for-you” products that are still convenient for their busy lifestyles.


Reasons for The Rise in Ingredient Inspectors

So why is there a rising trend in the food and wellness industry? Perhaps one of the reasons is food sensitivity or intolerance. The same survey conducted by Neilsen indicated that 36% of the respondents revealed that they opted for healthy foods because they are suffering from allergies or live with someone who does. The rise of lactose intolerance and seafood allergies was cited by 12% of the respondents.

Aside from food allergies, many consumers are actively excluding several ingredients from their diets. This motivation to eliminate certain foods can be brought about by religious influences or just small lifestyle decisions. Regardless, 64% of the respondents follow diets that prohibit certain foods or ingredients. For instance, 84% of the African and Middle Eastern respondents reveal that they follow a special diet as cited by their religion.  Respondents from Asia-Pacific scored 72% on the survey indicating that they support it for lifestyle and religious purposes. Most of them adhered to a vegetarian diet as reflective of their beliefs. Only 44%  of people living in North America and Europe cited motivation from religion to exclude ingredients in their food.


In the global survey, it was indicated that sugar is the most common ingredient that is eliminated by 31% of the respondents. Others limit their intake of carbohydrates and sodium for health reasons. Many of the interviewees are well aware of the effects caused by the foods they eat. In fact, 75% of people are anxious about the long-term impacts of incorporating synthetic ingredients into their food. Most of the respondents avoid foods that contain preservatives, coloring, and artificial flavors.

Consumers are demanding better food, and it’s up to food companies to supply this growing demand. It’s up to food companies to capitalize on the new opportunity and win customers with new healthy options.

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Small Rivals Assaulting Big CPG Brands for Market Dominance

Gone are the days when owners of traditional consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands can sleep well at night. With small brands gaining traction today, brands like Nestle, Procter & Gamble, General Mills and Unilever are experiencing problems they didn’t see coming. The rise and dominance of small brands between 2011 and 2015 caused large conglomerate food companies to lose nearly 3% of their market share in the United States.  In the study conducted by data provider IRI and Boston Consulting Group, emerging local competitors are now being considered as threats to big multinational companies.

The Rise of Smaller Competitors

Why are large CPG companies suffering from decline? Marketing experts believe that size has something to do with it. One of the challenges of giant companies is their centralized decision-making processes and their consolidation of manufacturing processes. With the popularity of the brands themselves, companies have to spend millions of dollars in advertising and shelf placements at retailers.

On the other hand, advertising is also changing through time. TV advertising is no longer effective according to Nik Modi from RBC Capital Markets. With the rise and relevance of social media, it has provided an avenue for small brands to market their products to many people. In fact, hundreds of small brands have benefited from the rise of e-commerce as online sales have increased over the past five years.

Fast-Changing Market for CPG Brands

Many multinational giants find it hard to keep up with the fast-changing market trends. For instance, many people tend to patronize local companies producing essential products.  Ali Dibadj of Sanford C. Bernstein research firm pointed out that in many developing countries, middle-income consumers assume that Western products are superior therefore expensive; instead, they opt for local products that are cheaper but are just as effective.

In China, for instance, the sale of a local toothpaste manufacturer Yunnan Baiyao Group rose from 10% to 45% which indicated that the small local brands are being patronized instead of the branded consumer packaged goods (CPG).

Another interesting thing about small brands is that most consumers trust small brands more than the established ones. In the survey conducted by consultancy firm Deloitte, 10% of the respondents said that they are willing to pay more for the “craft” or “artisan” version of products than the mass-produced ones from large enterprises. This is one of the reasons why there is a rise of small companies that market the idea of “artisan,” “craft,” and “organic.”

Small Brands Remain Competitive

The market situation has provided an excellent opportunity for smaller brands.  These brands have contributed to the introduction of new products in the market. In America, for instance, more than 4,000 craft brewers have emerged over the last ten years as well as thousands of small brands using real, organic, and non-GMO ingredients.

What are big companies doing to address the problem? Aside from merging with other big companies to create better versions of their products, many are also backing smaller rivals. For instance, companies like Campbell Soup and Hain Celestial have helped small consumer packaged goods companies to manufacture organic baby foods.

The market remains strong for giant CPG companies, but they will have to pay closer attention to their nimbler, smaller counterparts. We will see more and more companies acquire small brands to fill their voids in market trends.

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Fortified Premixes: Fundamental Considerations

Research by the International Food Information Council Foundation on Food and Health revealed that 47% consumers prefer food with added nutrients. Consumers are now more aware of the food they eat. They read labels carefully and are informed enough to know the difference between what’s right for them and what isn’t. The massive demand for nutrient-rich food with added vitamins and minerals has given way to food fortification.

Food Fortification is the process of incorporating essential vitamins and minerals such as folic acid, iodine, vitamin A and iron into food products. These are blended into powdered premixes which are then added to products.

Fortified food was a breakthrough for disease elimination. Fortification is now used for filling nutrition gaps and balancing nutrient loss in the storing process of goods. Manufacturers are on the lookout for partners to launch their own fortified premixes and give their products additional features. However, it’s the process of formulating fortified premixes that pose the challenge. Here are the aspects that need to be considered regarding fortified premixes:

  • The fortification process relies heavily on the kind of food product that’s being fortified
  • Manufacturers need to chart a profile for the desired nutritional value.
  • The size of serving and shelf life must be considered.
  • Manufacturers will have to change the entire packaging and present the product as a new brand before the consumers.
  • The cycle of production will go through a significant change.
  • Cost-effectiveness is a major aspect of consideration for manufacturers.

The Desired Amount of Nutrients in Fortified Premixes

Manufacturers will have to chalk down the quantities of natural vitamins and other nutrients that are already present in the food and then decide what kind of nutrients must be added and in what quantities so as to meet the claim the product is looking to make. This is a critical decision when using GrandFusion® products in your premixes. GrandFusion® is heavily concentrated nutrients from whole fruits and vegetables. 112 mg of the GrandFusion® fruit mix is equivalent to 25% daily value in 6 essential vitamins including vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin B1, and vitamin B6.

Loss of Nutrients in Food Processing

To hold true to the labels, formulators will have to ensure that nutrient loss in the production processes and treatment of the product is calculated in advance and taken into consideration while creating the formula for the premixes. Nutrient loss in processing has caused problems for formulators and food manufacturers for a long a time. NutriFusion® is the solution to this problem. Our stabilized nutrients are capable of withstanding the intensive heating and cooling of modern day food processing. Our GrandFusion® products also have a minimum two-year shelf life to keep your nutrients stable through distribution and retail.

Adding the Right Elements

Vitamins and minerals that are to be added must blend in with the distinct taste, color, and aroma of the product recipe.

Fortified premixes do nothing to change the texture or taste of the food product. Therefore, manufacturers get to introduce a new product that isn’t very different from other items their brand is known for. But, it will have all the nutritional perks consumers are looking for.

The push for NutriFusion® nutrient fortification is simple: the difference is natural. Our GrandFusion® products are blends of whole fruits and vegetables so that we can deliver complete nutrition in a variety of products. The big difference between NutriFusion® nutrient fortification and synthetic nutrient fortification is bioavailability. Our products have 100% bioavailability versus 10% to 20% bioavailability for synthetic vitamins. Why? Our bodies need complete nutrients from fruits and vegetables to function properly, so we easily absorb these natural vitamins. On the other hand, synthetics are chemical formulations trying to resemble nature, and are bodies do not entirely recognize them. If you are building a non-GMO or Organic food product, please reach out to learn more about our nutrient fortification process. Also, please visit your respective category below to learn more about our products!

Health and Wellness Influencing Food Decisions

Taste, price and convenience are no longer the main factors that help consumers decide which food and beverage to buy. According to a study by Deloitte, Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) called “Capitalizing on the Shifting Consumer Food Value Equation,” about half of the surveyed Americans considered health and wellness, safety, social impact, experience and transparency as “evolving drivers.” These new drivers are examined in addition to traditional factors such as taste, price and convenience. The study also revealed that these new “evolving drivers” play into food decisions regardless of the respondents’ demographics.

consumer values food decisions study

No Artificial Ingredients & Clear Labels Connect Health to Food Safety

Americans are no longer connecting food safety according to only near-term risks to health. Around 74 percent of respondents agreed that food safety should not just be limited to food that can cause immediate harm. Health, wellness, and transparency are all connected to safety which is why food factors including freedom from dangerous ingredients, having clear and accurately made product labels, and the use of non-artificial ingredients should be utilized in describing packaged, processed foods.

“Food retailers are inherently ‘shopper advocates’ and they respect that their customers want both genuine and transparent shopping experiences. Our study sheds light on how companies can better understand the intersection of these new consumer food values and their own growth strategies.” – Mark Baum, Chief Collaboration Officer @ FMI

More Key Insights on Future Food Decisions

Furthermore, the study also addresses several important points regarding the shifting value equation for the industry. According to the results of the survey, the following affect consumer values and food decisions as well.

  • Preferences and tastes of food will continue to fragment
  • Retailers have a unique ability to influence consumers’ decisions
  • New and smaller companies will use new technologies, third-party affiliations, and increase engagement to gain trust.
  • Larger companies in the industry will do all they can to use new, unique value propositions; and market success will be affected by present competitive advantages.

“Today’s consumers have a higher thirst for knowledge than previous generations and they are putting the assessment of that information into their value equation. There is no doubt that the consumer value equation has changed – as taste, price and convenience are now only the foundation with the need to leverage the emerging value drivers. Brands that win with consumers will likely be those that provide the information they seek, well beyond what is on the label.” – Jim Flannery, SVP of Operations & Industry Collaboration @ GMA

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NutriFusion® is Here to Help

Consumer values have been changing over the past ten years, and many companies have tried to seize the opportunity.  Some companies have done an excellent job of creating healthier products, and others have suffered the fate of misleading consumers with health and wellness claims. It’s time to start taking these demands seriously and match your R&D efforts with the value of the future consumer. People have finally connected their health and wellness to food safety. How will you reinvent your products without artificial ingredients and clean labels to enable the consumer to make smart food decisions?


We would like to think that NutriFusion® could be the answer for some of your new products. Instead of fortifying  your packaged foods with synthetic vitamins, you should try our GrandFusion powders. We create non-GMO nutrients from whole fruits and vegetables. So why doesn’t everyone do this? It’s a difficult process and we have made huge advances in our nutrient stabilization method over the past 3 years. NutriFusion® will give you the ability to clean up your ingredient deck and make powerful claims about where your nutrients come from. If you are interested in learning more, please visit your respective category below.