The rise of ‘clean supreme’ in the food and drink industry

27 October, 2017
by: Cripps Pemberton Greenish

With increased demand for clean and simply labelled foods it seems that ‘green’ is becoming ‘the new black’.  So what is the ‘clean supreme’ trend all about?

It’s about healthy, natural food products for the everyday consumer with full transparency in terms of ingredients, the supply chain and nutritional values.  This approach has been gaining momentum with clean and clear labelling becoming the new global standard.

Kellogg’s have recently bought into this idea with their $600 million acquisition of RXBAR.  Each variety of RXBAR proudly lists all its 6 or less ingredients in large letters on the front of its packaging.  They also claim to be “upfront and honest about everything we do, from the inside out.”

Hello Fresh, an online food ordering service, has marketed itself in a similarly simple way. Not only does the company’s name itself connote clean and simple food, but consumers are enticed by the array of organic offering that is advertised on an easy-to-navigate website. Such companies have successfully addressed the “complicated simplicity” of current consumer demands.   

Transparent product labelling

There’s also a clear shift towards food label transparency.  Time-strapped consumers want ready access to nutritional information without having to agonise over masses of text.  The average consumer spends 41 minutes in the supermarket per trip but there’s a trend towards shorter more frequent visits.

Food giants including Tesco, Campbell Soup and Walmart are moving away from complicated labelling in favour of simplistic alternatives.   

Whilst Nestlé in the UK have been using the UK Government’s ‘traffic light’ nutrient profiling on wholly-owned products since 2013, they’ve recently pledged to bring in line all their UK breakfast cereals which are manufactured and sold by a joint venture company.

Restaurant efforts

Transparent menus in restaurants are on the rise too with clearly displayed calorie counts and nutritional values becoming more common place.  Some eateries even post on their walls explanations of how their ingredients are sourced or have social media campaigns profiling their suppliers, something which is increasingly appealing to consumers. 

So have you considered how ‘clean and clear’ your business is?  Could you clean up your ingredients and labelling or be clearer about their origin?  Remember that simple packaging won’t be exempt from compliance with food labelling regulations so an effective balance between attractive branding and regulatory compliance will need to be struck.