The two essential ingredients in the food and drink industry; clean and simple

5 January, 2018
by: Cripps Pemberton Greenish

With the rise of clean and simple products in the food and drink industry, it seems ‘green’ is becoming the ‘new black’. Demand for clean and simply labelled foods has increased, as consumers move towards a clean and clear labelling standard.


What is it all about?

This ‘foodie fashion’ is all about minimally processed products with natural and simple ingredients that are available to the everyday consumer, complemented by a transparent label clearly identifying the ingredients and nutritional values. Consumers actively seek products they trust, however only 12% of consumers consider brands as their most trusted resource of information. Therefore businesses that translate complicated labelling into ‘consumer language’ whilst reducing the amount of ingredients used, have really won the food fight.

Kellogg’s recent $600 million acquisition of RXBAR clearly demonstrates this trend. Not only does the RXBAR list all its ingredients on the front of the bar in a user friendly font, the RXBAR itself only contains 6 or less ingredients. The clean, direct packaging underlines this aim for simplicity and is both eye-catching and modern.

Online food services such as Mindful Chef have also aligned themselves with the current trend. Mindful Chef provides customers with a delivery of simple ingredients to prepare a healthy meal. Hello Fresh, 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 extensive organic offering 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 less confusing 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 simple’ your business is?  Could you reduce the number of ingredients you use, or perhaps make your labelling clearer? 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.