Posts Tagged ‘clean label’

Clean Label Formulating Requires a Holistic Approach

Sunday, July 14th, 2013

Several speakers stressed the importance of taking a holistic view when formulating clean label products at a Sunday afternoon symposium. “You just can’t look at one ingredient when developing clean label products, you have to look at the entire product—texture, fat, flavor, preservatives, and more. It requires a holistic approach,” said Agnes Jones, Project Leader Technical Services, Ingredion. “You need to think about the product, consumer perceptions, and the regulatory environment,” added Stefan Hake with GNT USA. “When choosing colors from fruits and vegetables for a clean label application, you need to consider the medium or product, ingredients, processing, packaging and storage.”

Chef Michael Joy with Park 100 Foods discussed clean labeling from a culinary point of view. He said that many companies are “going back to the basics” because consumers buy what tastes good. “There is more interest in natural flavors, such as soy sauce, lemon, tomato, and mushroom—umami types that can reduce sodium,” said Joy. Other natural ingredients include natural starches and bean powder. The “back to basics” also includes recognizable cooking methods such as roasting, braising, and simmering.

Agnes Jones discussed functional native starches in clean label applications. “Native starches have limitations such as a short peak viscosity range and limited process tolerance, which results in undesirable texture,” said Jones. “Functional native starches perform similar to modified starches and can be labeled by their general name such as tapioca starch.” Functional native starches feature temperature tolerance, pH tolerance, shear tolerance, and are easy to use and handle.

As an example of a holistic approach to clean labeling, Jones discussed a case study of salad dressing. For the texturizer, the salad dressing replaced a modified starch with a functional native starch. Rosemary extract was used in place of EDTA as a preservative. For flavor, natural flavor enhancers replaced MSG. The nutritional profile and calories remained the same for both products.

Challenges and Opportunities in Clean Label Formulation

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

Session 52
July 14; 1:30–3 p.m.
Room S402

Ingredients ListThe market for natural and organic foods continues to outpace conventional foods, growing at double digits rates. In the absence of a legal definition for natural, “clean label” is the proposed working term. However, formulating in this space can be difficult. Learn about the opportunities and challenges in formulating clean label foods through application case studies in salad dressings, yogurts, and baked goods. Novel food texturizers, namely, functional native starches that help overcome challenges in this space and enable formulating clean label foods will be presented. In addition, a chef will offer the culinary perspective on challenges of clean label product development.

When formulating with natural colors to achieve a clean label, many options exist and many parameters are important to consider. Application, processing technique, and packaging all come into play. Part of this session will review the major benefits and challenges in formulating with natural colorants made from fruits and vegetables in order to achieve consistent results and product success.

Clean Label Potato Flakes

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

PotatoesAustrade Inc.’s (booth 3269) Agenflock 20.702 potato flakes are produced of select quality potatoes without additives and preservatives. The flakes are free flowing and feature a nice yellowish color.

Natural Flavors, Colors Here to Stay

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

by Kelly Hensel

“The economic downturn may have slowed growth, but ‘natural’ is here to stay,” said Mintel’s Lynn Dornblaser, Director CPG Trend Insight, in a presentation in the Special Events Pavilion on Tuesday, June 14. This is mainly due to the fact that U.S. consumers are demanding natural products because they equate natural with healthy. In fact, more than 60% of consumers agree with the statement that “If a product is labeled all natural it’s healthy.” In addition, some consumers will pay more for natural products in certain categories, especially children’s beverages.

Consumers are attracted to this “natural nutrition” because they see it as inherently good, fresh, and wholesome. As Dornblaser explained, consumers desire transparency in their food and beverages. “They are very suspicious of things they don’t understand and this translates into them being afraid of chemical names they can’t understand,” said Dornblaser. For this same reason, they are attracted to “clean” labels, which have a relatively small number of ingredients and those ingredients are identifiable. Natural colors and flavors can play a role in delivering these benefits that consumers are looking for.

In new product development traditional health claims are in a long-term decline. However, other claims are on the rise, including convenience and ethical and environmental. But natural claims take the cake with the highest number of new products over other product claims. In fact, more than 35% of all new products released in 2010 bore a natural claim.

Haagen Dazs FiveNot only are consumers seeking out products with natural claims, but companies can use these claims to enhance a premium product. For example, Haagen-Dazs launched its Five ice cream (made with just five simple, natural ingredients) in 2009 and since then it has outperformed the company’s other brand ice creams. However, natural isn’t just about premium; value priced items with natural claims work as well. Yoplait’s Simply… Go-Gurt yogurt is priced the same as non-natural yogurt, but it has no high fructose corn syrup and no artificial colors or flavors. This product sold $17 million in the first 71 weeks on the market.

Natural flavors and colors are popular claims around the world; however the desire for each varies from country to country. In Europe, both natural colors and flavors are highly valued in food, while the U.S. market has a stronger focus on artificial colors in foods. For beverages, European consumers once again value natural flavors and colors. Americans really desire natural flavors, which are driven by juices, but artificial colors are still used a lot. According to Mintel’s data, the five top food categories with natural colors and flavors are bakery, snacks, meals and meal centers, sauces and seasonings, and processed fish, meat, and eggs.

Dornblaser concluded the session by emphasizing that “consumers are attracted to all things natural but they see the see the whole picture.” This includes natural colors and flavors as well as other natural ingredients, natural sweeteners, and natural packaging. The focus in the future will be on the promotion of the positive, not the absence of negative ingredients. “Success is built on the brand values of transparency, trust, and simplicity,” explained Dornblaser. So, whether companies decide to “go natural” with their products, it is important to honest and simple with your messages and formulations (if possible) in order to build a trusting relationship with consumers.

Consumers Seek Simplicity, Innova Reports

Monday, July 19th, 2010

by Mary Ellen Kuhn

When it comes to food and beverages, consumers want to keep it simple, according to Innova Market Insights (“Taste the Trend” Booth 3660).

Consumers are seeking products made with simple, wholesome ingredients with minimal processing, and manufacturers are responding with an array of new “clean label” offerings. Lay’s Classic Potato Chips, for example, now feature the claim “made with three simple ingredients in as little as 24 hours, and that’s it.” Pillsbury Simply…Cookies are advertised as being “made with just the simple, whole ingredients you and your family know and love.”

Innova Market Insights tracked 987 new products using either the word “simple,” “simplest,” or “simplicity” in 2009 vs 467 tracked in 2008. Use of the word “pure,” “purity,” or “purely” grew from 3,013 in 2008 to 5,705 in 2009. Consumers are also being greeted with an array of new products marketed using terms such as “like grandma made,” “homemade,” and “homestyle.”

Even if a product doesn’t have a particularly healthful profile, consumers seem to be responding to simple ingredient statements, observed Lu Ann Williams, Head of Research at Innova Market Insights. So important is the drive toward simplicity that Innova ranked it as the year’s No. 1 trend.

No. 2 on Innova’s trend list is sustainability. The company listed the top 10 market categories for products with “sustainable claims” in 2009. They are as follows, in descending order: chocolate; tea; juice and juice drinks; fish and seafood; breakfast cereals; cake—pastries and sweet goods; sweet biscuits/cookies; vegetables; carbonates; and cooking sauces.

Here’s a round-up of the year’s Top 10 trends, per Innova.

1. Sense of Simplicity

2. Sustainable Gathers Steam

3. Continuing to Cook at Home – Driven by the economic downturn, more consumers are cooking at home, but often seeking to prepare higher quality products.

4. Inherent Nutrition – Rather than relying on specific health claims, for which it may be difficult to get regulatory approval, marketers are touting products’ inherent health benefits and natural goodness.

5. Functional Superstars – Healthful ingredients that have survived European regulators’ early rulings are moving to the forefront in functional foods as others are forced for the moment to rely on softer claims.

6. Going Immune – Interest in immunity-enhancing products may have been boosted by last year’s H1N1 virus; ingredients to boost immunity are turning up in a variety of product forms.

7. New Delivery for Energy – Energy is a popular benefit, and products positioned to deliver it are proliferating in a broad range of categories including drinks, bars, tea, breakfast cereals, and more.

8. ‘Free From’ Rises – More and more companies, including major players, are rolling out gluten-free and other “free-from” offerings.

9. Extreme Flavors – Rising levels of interest in very hot and extreme flavors are being reported, with major brands (i.e., Pringles Xtreme) launching products.

10. Real Authenticity – It’s no longer enough to simply create a product with a regional positioning: the product should be based on ingredients from a specific region and ideally even produced there.