Clean-Label Appeal in the Food & Beverage Industry
How Natural Extracts Can Boost Your Brand's Image with Consumers
Market & Consumer Trends
The food and beverage industry is constantly evolving, and staying ahead of the curve is essential for brands that want to stay competitive. In recent years, there has been a clear trend towards clean-label products that are free from artificial ingredients, preservatives, and additives. At the same time, consumers are looking for products that offer authentic, natural flavors and functional benefits. Here, we’ll explore how all-natural, water-soluble extracts can help formulators and food innovators meet these demands and gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
Before diving into the benefits of all-natural, water-soluble, premium extracts, it’s important to understand the broader trends shaping the food and beverage industry. Here are some of the key trends to watch:
- Clean Label: Consumers are increasingly interested in products with clean, simple ingredient lists. According to a recent study, 62% of consumers say they are more likely to buy a product with a short ingredient list, and 57% are willing to pay more for products that are free from artificial ingredients.
- Health and Wellness: Consumers are also seeking out products that offer functional benefits, such as immune support, energy, and digestive health. According to a recent report, the global functional food market is projected to reach $275.77 billion by 2025.
- Sustainability: Consumers are more aware than ever of the impact their food choices have on the environment. According to a recent survey, 72% of consumers say that environmental sustainability is important when making food choices.
- Authenticity: Consumers are looking for products that offer authentic, natural flavors and ingredients. According to a recent report, 79% of consumers say they prefer natural flavors over artificial flavors. All-Natural, Water-Soluble, Premium Extracts as a Competitive Advantage
Here, we will focus on the first trend of clean-label appeal. We will explore the definition, why it is important, dive into the details of flavor labeling, and finally, describe why Primal Essence extracts are an elegant solution for brand’s interested in boosting their appeal to conscientious consumers in the food and beverage industry
What is Clean-Label Appeal, and Why is it Important?
Clean-label appeal refers to the consumer preference for products with simple, easy-to-understand ingredient lists that are free from artificial ingredients, preservatives, and additives. This trend is driven by consumer demand for healthier, more transparent products, and it’s a trend that is here to stay.
For food and beverage brands, clean-label appeal is essential for staying competitive in today’s market. Consumers are increasingly skeptical of brands that use artificial ingredients or preservatives, and they are willing to pay more for products that are perceived as healthier and more natural.
Clean-label appeal is not just important for consumer perception, but also for regulatory compliance. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has strict guidelines around the use of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives in food and beverages. Brands that use all-natural, water-soluble extracts can meet these guidelines while still offering authentic flavors and functional benefits.
Labeling Showdown: Natural Flavors, Artificial Flavors & Extracts
One of the key factors driving the clean-label trend in the food and beverage industry is the increasing demand for natural ingredients, including natural flavors. Consumers are looking for products that are made with simple, recognizable ingredients, and are wary of artificial flavors, which are often perceived as less healthy and less authentic.
Artificial flavors are created by chemists in a lab and are made from a combination of chemicals and other synthetic substances. They are often used to replicate the taste of natural flavors, and they can be produced more cheaply and more consistently than natural flavors. However, artificial flavors are often associated with negative health effects, and their use is becoming increasingly scrutinized by regulators and consumers.
Natural flavors are derived from natural sources, such as fruits, vegetables, and spices. They are made using various methods to derive natural flavor compounds found in the raw materials. Natural flavors can be more expensive and less consistent than artificial flavors, and they are often perceived as more authentic and healthier. However, the issue with the labeling claims of “natural flavors” is that it can be used as an umbrella term to describe or hide many different ingredients. In other words, the label claims of “Natural Flavors” are still ambiguous, because they can be any ingredient that derived from a natural source. This label, while much better than “artificial,” still doesn’t provide the level of trust, transparency, and purity that consumers are increasingly demanding.
Extracts, on the other hand, are concentrated forms of the natural, organic material that flavors are derived from. They are produced by extracting flavor compounds from raw materials. Extracts are often more concentrated than natural flavors and can provide a stronger, more accurate flavor profile. When used in food and beverage products, extracts can enhance the flavor and functionality of the product without the need for additional ingredients. Extracts can also be clearly labeled as “Ginger Extract, Vanilla Extract, Peppermint Extract, etc.” and provide the most transparency to product labels, which boosts consumer trust and clean-label appeal.
The distinction between artificial flavors, natural flavors, and extracts is an important one in the food and beverage industry. While artificial flavors may be cheaper and more consistent, they are often perceived as less healthy and less authentic by consumers. Natural flavors and extracts, on the other hand, are derived from natural sources and are often perceived as more authentic and healthier but can still be ambiguous. By using extracts and clearly labeling them as such in finished products, manufacturers can provide consumers with the most transparent and accurate representation of the flavoring agents and ingredients used in their products, while retaining the clean-label appeals of using all-natural ingredients.
How Natural Extracts Deliver on All Fronts
Now that we know the key industry trends, understand what clean label appeal is, and how not all flavor labels are created equal, we can safetly observe the fact that the brands that can offer all-natural, functional ingredients with clean-label appeal will have a competitive advantage in the market.
Thankfully, extracts can deliver solutions that satisfy the conditions of these trends, but the problem has been that most extracts are oil-soluble and can be very difficult to work with. That’s where Primal Essence’s all-natural, water-soluble extracts come in. Due to unique, natural processes, our products solve the problem by taking pure oils and oleoresins and processing them into water-soluble, ready to use ingredients that can boost your brand’s clean-label appeal. Additionally, our water-soluble extracts provide:
- Consistency: Because all-natural, water-soluble extracts are made using standardized extraction processes, they offer consistent flavor and functional benefits from batch to batch.
- Versatility: All-natural, water-soluble extracts can be used in a wide variety of applications, from baked goods and beverages to sauces and confections.
Customizability: All-natural, water-soluble extracts can be customized to meet the specific flavor and functional needs of each brand, and be blended in endless combinations for the most unique formulations
Tying it All Together
The food and beverage industry is undergoing a significant shift towards clean-label, functional products that offer natural flavors and ingredients. All-natural, water-soluble, premium extracts offer brands a competitive advantage by meeting these demands while also offering consistency, versatility, and customizability.
For brands looking to boost their clean-label appeal and meet the demands of today’s consumers, all-natural, water-soluble extracts are an excellent solution. By using all-natural extracts in their formulations, brands can create products that are not only healthier and more sustainable but also more delicious and functional.
As the food and beverage industry continues to evolve, it’s clear that brands that can offer clean-label, all-natural products with functional benefits will have a competitive advantage. Premium, all-natural, water-soluble extracts are an excellent way to meet these demands and stay ahead of the curve.
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