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The fastest growing label claims of 2011: From ‘economy’ to ‘gluten-free’

By Elaine Watson , 12-Jun-2012

GMO-free claims are starting to appear on more US food and drink products, featuring on 308 new launches in 2009, 343 in 2010 and 549 in 2011. However, this still represents just 2.7% of new launches
GMO-free claims are starting to appear on more US food and drink products, featuring on 308 new launches in 2009, 343 in 2010 and 549 in 2011. However, this still represents just 2.7% of new launches

While ‘all-natural’ and ’no additives & preservatives’ were still among the most popular food and drink label claims in the US last year, the fastest growth was in economy, low/no/reduced allergen, high-protein and low/no/reduced saturated fat claims, according to Mintel.

A breakdown of the top 50 claims on US food and drink products in 2011 on Mintel’s Global New Products Database reveals that 5,606 new products out of 20,455 (27%) featured a kosher claim; followed by 2,809 (13.7%) featuring environmentally-friendly packaging claims; 2,680 (13.1%) featuring ‘all-natural’ claims; and 2,645 (12.9%) featuring ’no additives & preservatives’ claims.

However, all of these numbers were slightly down on 2010, with growth coming from other areas such as economy, allergen-free and GMO-free claims.

Indeed, one of the claims demonstrating the most consistent growth since 2008 has been ‘economy’, which featured on 406 new products in 2009, 578 in 2010, 742 in 2011 and 515 in the first half of 2012 alone, indicating that the figure for the full year in 2012 will top 1,000.

Allergen-free claims on 10.86% of new products in 2011

Meanwhile, the number of new products featuring low/no/reduced allergen claims rose from 1,369 in 2009 to 2,210 in 2010 to 2,222 (10.86% of new products) in 2011.

Gluten-free claims rose from 1,945 in 2010 to 1,992 (9.7%) in 2011, while the number of products making low/no/reduced lactose claims rose from 256 in 2010 to 363 in 2011.

Low saturated fat, high-protein, GMO-free and antioxidant claims

While low-fat, low-sodium and low-trans-fat claims dropped off in 2011, the number of products featuring low/no/reduced saturated fat claims grew from 186 in 2010 to 207 in 2011, although this still represents a very small percentage (1%) of new product launches overall.

Similarly, there were notable rises in high-protein claims (up from 319 in 2010 to 338 in 2011) and GMO-free claims (up from 343 in 2010 to 549 in 2011).

Antioxidant claims, which peaked in 2008 but dropped off again in 2009 and 2010, rose again in 2011; while whole grain claims rose sharply from 599 in 2009 to 930 in 2010 before dropping off slightly in 2011 to 809 (just under 4%) claims.

The biggest loser? Organics

One of the biggest losers has been organics, with new products featuring organic claims dropping from 2,299 in 2008 to 1,497 in 2009, 1591 in 2010 and just 1,328 in 2011.

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