Large companies step to the fore
Ingredion began marketing its clean label ingredient options in earnest in 2013, and Ms. de Castro said interest has continued to rise year over year.
“This (clean label) used to be more niche,” she said. “Now we are seeing the major players moving in that direction.”
It is clear other companies see demand for such products continuing as well. In early June, Nestle USA announced plans to remove artificial flavors and reduce sodium in its frozen pizza and snack products by the end of the year. The changes will affect more than 250 products across six brands, which include DiGiorno, Tombstone, California Pizza Kitchen, Jack’s, Hot Pockets and Lean Pockets.
By the end of 2015, the products will contain no artificial flavors and will have 10% less sodium compared with 2013 levels. Nestle also will incorporate guidance tools on packaging across the brands to help educate consumers on portion control and a balanced diet.
The company said the announcement underscores Nestle’s commitment to improving the nutritional and ingredient profile of its products. In February, the company announced it was removing artificial colors and flavors from all of its chocolate candy products, including Nestle Crunch, Butterfinger and Baby Ruth, by the end of the year.
“We know people want to feel good about the foods they eat, and they’re seeking foods made with fewer artificial ingredients and less sodium,” said John Carmichael, president of the Nestle Pizza & Snacking Division, Nestle USA. “As one of the nation’s largest food companies, Nestle is listening to consumers and delivering on their desire for convenient, great-tasting foods that have an improved nutritional profile.”