Clean-label is a consumer-driven movement demanding a return to real food and transparency through authenticity. It refers to using few ingredients that are easily recognized by consumers and are made from completely natural sources and grown by non-GMO organic standards. Consumers demand transparency in ingredients used and their source for better understanding and pronunciation.
According to the IndiFoodBev (IFB), the global clean-label ingredients market is expected to be valued at USD 51.14 billion by 2024 to meet the growing consumer demand for clean-label food and consumer packaged goods. For instance, according to the International Food Information Council’s (IFIC) 2021 survey, in the U.S., 63% of adults look for ingredients in a food or beverage and have a moderate influence on what they buy, 64% try to prefer foods made with clean ingredients, while 25% among those looking for clean ingredients choose food and beverages with the clean label to obtain health benefits.
Also, according to the Tate & Lyle Proprietary Research, in 2020, 84% of consumers read ingredient labels and 80% of consumers read nutrition labels, further concluding the consumer’s shift toward avoiding food & drinks that contains sugars.
As consumers are looking forward to retrenching the sugars from their foods, turning to natural high-intensity sweeteners like Stevia and Monk fruit can better replace sugars. Clean label ingredients benefit consumers’ choices of healthier foods. It increases the company’s sustainability towards nature. According to Cargill Proprietary Research, in 2018, consumers’ approach toward clean labels was 37% for foods consumed by children, 29% for dairy products, 28% for nutritional foods, and 27% for Ready to eat cereals. The global clean-label ingredients market is expected to be valued at USD 47.50 billion by 2023 to meet the growing consumer demand for clean-label foods and consumer packaged goods (Source: Ingredion Incorporated).
According to the Centre for Food Integrity (CFI), considering the customer’s trust, food companies are held most responsible for transparency. Food Information Regulation Europe and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the U.S. has enforced its regulation on food product manufacturers on the clean label stating that the information on the label should be appropriate and should reflect the scientific information, avoiding misleading. The clean label concept now has extended from labeling to processing, which led to further adherence of processing and production to stick to the clean label concept. For instance, label-friendly ingredient ViaTech Stevia by Cargill, Incorporated, is a natural high-intensity sweetener that helps maintain a high-performance sweet taste, reduce off-notes, and deliver a commercially viable cost, further reducing the need for expensive masking agents and modifiers. Clean label has led to an increase in the adoption of natural high-intensity sweeteners like stevia and monk fruit in the beverage industry.
For instance, in January 2021, BRANDT, Inc. (U.S.) partnered with Hello Beverages, LLC (Chicago) to produce a new concept in beverage development based on a new patented technology called CYTO Plus that supports immunity and toxin elimination, sweetened with stevia extracts, further supporting the growth of clean label sweeteners in the beverage industry.
Consumer’s shift toward clean-label food and beverage products provides great opportunities for natural high-intensity sweetener players and thus has evolved as a trend for the high-intensity sweeteners market.
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