Natural & Clean Label Trends 2013

Where do your products sit in the clean label hierarchy?

By Elaine WATSON

- Last updated on GMT

Does 'natural' amount to more than just a list of acceptable or unacceptable ingredients on a food label? What other cues are consumers looking for when deciding if a product is natural and wholesome? Find out on June 26 at Natural & Clean Label Trends 2013
Does 'natural' amount to more than just a list of acceptable or unacceptable ingredients on a food label? What other cues are consumers looking for when deciding if a product is natural and wholesome? Find out on June 26 at Natural & Clean Label Trends 2013

Related tags Clean label Consumer protection

If it sounds like a ‘chemical’, or isn’t in the kitchen cupboard, shoppers may regard it with suspicion. But which ingredients are 'acceptable' to today's consumers, which are to be avoided, and who decides? 

In many cases, retailers are setting the agenda - with Whole Foods Market developing a list of 'unacceptable ingredients​' and committing to label all products containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in its US and Canadian stores by 2018.

In other cases, bloggers, activists and consumer advocacy groups are driving the agenda, with high-profile blogger the 'FoodBabe'​ garnering a lot of publicity over her campaign to persuade Kraft to ditch artificial colors Yellow #5 and #6 from Mac & Cheese; and Starbucks phasing out bug-derived colorant carmine​ after 6,000+ consumers signed a petition to say they were unhappy it was using crushed insects to color its frappuccinos.

Meanwhile, PepsiCo recently pledged to remove brominated vegetable oil (BVO) from Gatorade​, owing to some consumers’ “negative perceptions​”, while manufacturers and retailers across the US now face increasing pressure​ from a powerful group of activists to label - or ditch- GMOs from their products.

So what’s next for natural and clean label?

To answer this question, FoodNavigator is launching Natural & Clean Label Trends 2013: A FREE online event on June 26 that will explore all angles of this debate.


Natural & Clean Label Trends 2013

A must-attend event for anyone in food and beverage formulation, marketing & branding, regulatory or labeling functions, Natural & Clean Label Trends 2013​ will explore how clean label and natural trends are developing, what consumers expect, and the latest developments in natural ingredients.


The natural and clean label market opportunity 


How can food manufacturers tap into consumer demand for more ‘natural’ foods, and what’s the size of the prize? How are clean label trends evolving, and who is driving the agenda? Retailers? Manufacturers? Consumers? NGOs? Where does organic fit in? And what label claims are on the rise?

  • Speaker: ​Tom Vierhile, Innovation insights director, Datamonitor.

Regulatory update: Are natural claims worth the legal headaches? 


With a class action lawsuit filed almost weekly in California against companies using the word ‘natural’ (in the absence of a useful legal definition), should food marketers think twice about using the term in the US market? How many of these cases ever go to trial, and what can we learn from recent judgments?

  • Speaker: Rebecca Cross, Counsel, BraunHagey LLP (pictured).  

 Panel debate: The evolution of natural and clean-label: What do consumers want?  


Does 'natural' amount to more than just a list of acceptable or unacceptable ingredients on a food label? What other cues are consumers looking for when deciding if a product is natural and wholesome? Does natural just mean ‘nothing artificial’? Or could it also mean safer, healthier, more ethical or more sustainable? How does it relate to organics? How do consumers determine if something is 'less processed'?

1 - What does research tell us about what consumers consider to be 'natural'? 

2 - Who is driving the natural and clean-label agenda? 

3 - What processing methods render a product from a natural source (corn, stevia) un-natural? 

4 - Is the term 'natural' at risk of becoming devalued? 

5 - Where is the ‘natural’ trend going?


  • Chris Brockman: ​Senior Global Food & Drink Analyst, Mintel
  • Aaron Edwards: ​Director, Wholesome Ingredients Business, Ingredion UK Limited
  • Catherine Adams Hutt: ​President, RdR Solutions Consulting, LLC
  • Mary C. Mulry: ​President, FoodWise

Growth opportunities for clean-label-positioned foods and beverages


Though no formal regulatory definition exists for ‘clean label’, consumer insights are helping to shape a proposed definition. This definition includes more than just the ingredients in the recipe. Food and beverage companies are using multiple front-of-pack positions to promote clean label offerings. As the number of new clean-label products launched around the world continues to rise, success depends upon understanding what consumers say about their priorities, intentions and preferences. Are the products in your clean-label portfolio aligned with what consumers say they wish to purchase? This likely differs by country and/or region. We will explore high-level consumer insights in this area.

  • Speaker: Aaron Edwards, director, wholesome ingredients, Ingredion UK   
Good-bad-ugly-clean-label ingredients
Consumer research commissioned by Ingredion shows that the name appears to trumps everything else, with the unfortunately-named xanthan gum, polysorbate, microcrystalline cellulose, mono-diglycerides, carboxymethyl cellulose, bleached flour and modified starch all in the ‘unacceptable’ group. Meanwhile, even ingredients derived from plants including maltodextrin (from corn or wheat starch), guar gum (from guar beans), pectin (from fruits), and lecithin (from soybeans or sunflower oil) are in the ‘borderline’ group because shoppers do not recognize them as ‘natural’ from their names - and do not stock them in their kitchen cupboards.

Click here​ for full details about Natural & Clean Label Trends 2013.

Click here​ to see the full program.


If you wish to promote your technical expertise in this domain by sponsoring this online event, click here​ or email 

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