‘No additives/ preservatives’ claims accounted for 23 per cent of new product claims in Europe from January to September 2008, and a similar number – 22 per cent – of claims on products launched globally.
The data shows the move by manufacturers to produce foods with so-called clean labels, driven by consumer demands for products with natural rather than chemical or synthetic additives, as they are perceived to be safer and healthier.
According to the data from Mintel, the second most popular claim on new European products is ‘organic’, accounting for 2,474 out of a total of 18,374. Third on the list is ‘low/no/reduced fat’, and fourth is ‘vegetarian’. These four claims accounted for almost 62 per cent of claims on new products.
Other claims included ‘low/no/reduced allergen’, ‘time/speed’, ‘low/no/reduced sugar’, and ‘gluten-free’.
Out of the 49,752 new product launches around the world, 4,178 had the ‘no additives/ preservatives’ claim.
In a strong indication of the demand for Kosher foods in Europe and North America, the second most common claim is ‘Kosher’ with 6,252 mentions on the label. According to a recent report entitled, "Kosher products have gone mainstream", the appeal of Kosher goes beyond religious Jews, with vegetarians and allergy sufferers opting for these products. This is reportedly because the kosher labelling system provides such a comprehensive ingredients list as well as identifying whether the product contains dairy or meat.
Mirroring the European trend, the third most popular claim is ‘low/no/reduced fat’, while ‘microwaveable’, and ‘organic’ completed the top five.
The Kosher demand was reflected in the statistics for claims on new products launched in the US, with 4,277 out of 11,825 targeting this market.
The ‘no additives/preservatives’ claim was second in the US, with 2243 new products launched with the claim. ‘All natural’, ‘low/no/reduced transfat’, and ‘organic’ completed the top five across the Atlantic.