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Consumer research reveals clean label priorities for dairy and bakery

‘Cracking the Clean Label Code ‘commissioned by Ingredion, makes clear the current clean label opportunity for manufacturers and retailers

News Date : 01/13/2016

‘Cracking the Clean Label Code’, a robust quantitative and qualitative study of 1,000 consumers* commissioned by Ingredion, makes clear the current clean label opportunity for manufacturers and retailers in the dairy and bakery categories. Findings show that, on average, 30% of consumers are now actively seeking products with some form of clean label claim while 70% of those purchasing dairy and bakery products are aware of clean label claims and say these claims influence their buying decision.

Clean label is rapidly becoming mainstream. The report indicated that consumers are not only seeking “natural”, “additive-free” alternatives for staple products like bread and yoghurt, but that more indulgent categories such as dairy desserts and cakes can also benefit from clean label claims. 

Mona Schmitz-Hübsch, European Marketing Manager at Ingredion, explains, “Our research tells us that consumers are actively looking for products with clean label claims. This demonstrates the importance of clean label claims in enhancing the shelf appeal of dairy and bakery goods. By providing information on the impact of different types of clean label claims on consumers, this report helps food manufacturers to successfully develop new products, and reformulate existing ones, in the dairy and bakery clean label space.”

The Cracking the Clean Label Code report also found that while consumers perceive clean label products to be healthier, this could not be achieved at the expense of taste or texture. Great-tasting products that deliver the right eating experience remained a high priority

“In dairy, for example, yoghurts are considered both as health foods and an indulgent treat. The challenge for manufacturers is to deliver clean label desserts that taste great and offer the creamy, thick texture the consumer expects. At the same time, sweeteners and artificial colouring are, in the main, unacceptable in dairy. This is where functional ingredients that support a ‘natural’ or ‘all natural’ positioning can meet the clean label requirements of food manufacturers,” continued Schmitz-Hübsch.

“With over half of all consumers surveyed saying they would switch their favourite dessert brand for one with a natural claim, the opportunity already exists,” she added.

In the bakery category, the report showed that products can benefit from a natural positioning that helps enhance their homemade appeal. Artisan breads made with high quality, minimally processed ingredients are a case-in-point.

The report also identified six shopping personalities with almost a third of all respondents categorised as shopping personalities that have a high propensity to make product selections on the strength of favourable on-pack claims - “Home Cooks” and “All Natural” types.

Some of the key insights in the Clean Label report include:

  • Consumers are well aware of clean label and are already actively seeking products that can credibly take this position
  • Short ingredients lists with authentic sounding ingredients significantly increase purchase intent
  • Products that are marketed as more ‘natural’ are perceived to taste better and have healthier origins.

*The study was carried out with 500 UK and 500 Russian consumers 

Editor’s note:
About Ingredion
The Ingredion group of companies is a leading global ingredient solutions provider, specialising in nature-based sweeteners, starches and nutritional ingredients. With customers in more than 100 countries, the Ingredion group of companies serve approximately 60 diverse sectors in food, beverage, brewing pharmaceuticals and other industries. The main trading companies within the EMEA Region are Ingredion UK Limited, Ingredion Germany GmbH and Ingredion South Africa Pty Limited. For more information, visit

For further press information, please contact: Katie Bucknell at Stein IAS, Clarence Mill, Clarence Road, Bollington, Cheshire, SK10 5JZ, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1625 578578 Email:

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