BLOG: Clean Label Trends Recap from the Association of Dressings and Sauces Technical Meeting

By May 8, 2018News

pouring dressing over lettuce for a caesar saladThis year’s technical meeting took place in Charlotte, North Carolina. One of the key themes for this year’s meeting was clean label formulating. Two clean label presentations really stood out.

Clean Label Trends and Market Dynamics
The first was Annette Maggi’s talk on clear labeling vs. clean labeling. On one hand, consumers want packaged goods that have recognizable, easy to pronounce ingredients; and on the other hand, they want convenient food that does not spoil. Annette proposed shifting from clean labeling, to clear labeling. She recommended using manufacturers’ websites and other vetted sources to educate consumers about the role the ingredients are playing within the food system. Each ingredient on the label has a role in keeping the food safe and tasting great. She urges manufacturers to remember that taste, convenience, price and nutrition are key market drivers and clear labeling can help manufacturers align with consumer tastes.

Mark Corthwaite did the next standout presentation from DuPont. Mark demonstrated how clean label products outgrew their non-clean label counterparts in the U.S. marketplace. He gave several great examples. The first was the yogurt category. This category grew leaps and bounds with the introduction of Greek style high protein yogurts. Yet, in the last two years, the category has declined by 0.2% in U.S. dollars (USD) and 3.3% in volume. However, natural brands such as Siggi’s or Skyr have grown by 13% in USD and 11% by volume. The overall bread market has declined by 1.2% in USD. However, natural brands within the category are up by 20% USD. Ice cream was another standout. Overall, the category increased by just 1.5% USD. Natural brands grew 11% USD: the standout in this category was health and wellness brand Halo Top ice cream which grew by a whopping 1600% USD. Mark also emphasized that the product must taste good, be convenient, have a reasonable price and has nutritional value.

Clean Label Formulation Solution: Citrus Fiber
Formulating clean label products within any market category can be difficult. Citri-Fi® citrus fiber can help manufacturers in a variety of markets clean up their label by replacing less desirable ingredients. Citri-Fi is a sustainably manufactured ingredient that holds 7-10 times its weight in water and emulsifies 15-20 times its weight in oil. It is comprised of the whole fiber of citrus fruits, which is physically processed to keep the native composition intact. This process increases the surface area of the particle which gives it these unique attributes. The water holding capacity can help mop up syneresis in yogurts and can increase the moist, fresh baked quality of whole grain bread. Ice cream manufacturers can remove xanthan, guar and locust bean gum in addition to mono and diglycerides or lecithin from their label by using Citri-Fi in the place of these stabilizers. Citri-Fi holds onto water throughout freeze/thaw cycling, so the overall quality of the ice cream is improved. Citri-Fi can be labeled simply as citrus fiber, citrus flour or dried citrus pulp. This natural fiber is a great tool for manufacturers looking to clean up their labels while still maintaining taste and nutrition.

— Author: Nesha Zalesny (Technical Sales Manager)