The health-conscious consumer
As previously established, health and wellbeing are the main driving forces behind the clean label trend. Health-conscious consumers are often more in tune with their diets, paying greater attention to the ingredients within products. Therefore, short ingredient lists, with easily recognisable ingredients, will be desirable to these consumers.
Keeping it natural
Many consumers are interested in avoiding additives, such as sweeteners, colourants and flavours. Complex chemical names may be met poorly by consumers who may view these as artificial, even if they are not.
Planet friendly and ethically sourced ingredients
Media coverage of the climate crisis is an ongoing, everyday occurrence. With so many consumers concerned about their environmental impact, many are looking towards green, clean label and eco-friendly products. Clean label and whole food ingredients may often align with other sustainable and ethical practices. These include fair trade, sustainable agriculture and the ethical and local sourcing of key ingredients. Consumers who wish to consider these factors when shopping, are more likely to choose clean label options.
Manufacturers of clean label products may also aim to ensure they are free of any legally declarable allergens, allowing them to be marketed at consumers who need to avoid those specific allergens in their diet. For those with allergies to other food ingredients outside of the declarable allergens, shorter more transparent ingredient lists make it easy for them to identify foods they need to avoid. In producing ‘free-from’ products, often additives and other ingredients are needed as replacements, so these products do not always fall into the category of ‘clean label’.
While clean label may attract a more health focused market, the use of high quality, easy to recognise ‘store cupboard’ ingredients can also appeal to those looking for higher end, more luxurious products. It is therefore important to note, that just because something is viewed as being clean label, it does not necessarily equate to a healthy choice in terms of nutritional quality. Some clean label products can still be high in sugar, fat, salt and calories which may further confuse consumers looking for healthy products to enjoy.