When searching for answers, it’s natural to just “Google it.”
“It’s a reflection of how the upward trajectory of technology affects consumers, bakers and others who influence food-buying decisions,” said Erin Ball, director, public relations and science, Grain Foods Foundation.
“The ‘Google it’ trend means that consumers can compare prices, variety and even ingredients of products among retail outlets from anywhere on the planet,” she said. “And if an ingredient is unknown to them, Google that, too. The trouble is, technology is accessible to almost everyone, so the number of ‘web experts’ — and ‘not experts’ — has also grown exponentially in the past 10 to 15 years.”
Another related trend involves the move toward making everything more personal.
“Tailored advertisements on web sites and consumers’ own selections of media voices to whom they listen means that advertising messages must target pockets of consumers rather than being a one-size-fits-all game,” Ms. Ball explained. “Technology allows health care professionals to more specifically tailor health advice toward their patients and clients, and we predict that the world of individual diet plans based on a person’s microbiome and genetic information is not so far away.”
Ms. Ball suggested the media and other health influencers are driving the clean label movement.
“These same influencers have called into question ingredients that are central to the performance of our industry’s products, and some of those ingredients have names that are just plain scary to some consumers,” she said. “Clean label will continue to be a challenge for food manufactures for many years to come.”Today, bakers are finding that life has gotten more complicated. And unfortunately, “Googling it” doesn’t provide all the answers.