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Food Formulation Trends: Ingredients Consumers Avoid
For many Americans, the question isn’t what to eat for dinner, it’s how can I avoid certain foods when eating dinner. Food intolerance and food allergies have become a way life – be it for health or health attitude reasons.
This trend is likely to perpetuate. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the numbers of people with allergies is on the rise. A growing number of people have opted to avoid ingredients, such as gluten. It’s almost hard to avoid the idea that certain ingredients are bad for you – news accounts, social media and online sources abound with messages that some ingredients are a health threat to everyone, not just the limited number of people who have been diagnosed with an allergy, intolerance, or sensitivity.
Recognizing the opportunity to appeal to concerned consumers who also tend to be trendsetters for other consumers, food manufacturers have become extremely accommodating to this trend, reformulating products to eliminate those ingredients that are being shunned. This isn’t new, of course: food manufacturers have been reformulating their products for decades, especially in reducing fat, sugar and salt. In the current market, manufacturers are looking to appeal to this same base by eliminating such ingredients as gluten as well as Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Even General Mills, which as a corporation has spent considerable sums to defeat mandatory GMO labeling laws, has introduced a non-GMO version of Cheerios.
Food Formulation and Ingredient Trends: What Consumers Avoid offers an up-to-date assessment of developments in the food avoidance trend. In addition to looking at data on consumer preferences and attitudes toward specific foods and ingredients, the report covers the actions that are being taken by food and ingredient manufacturers and grocery retailers in order to respond to consumer trends as well as what the courts and government agencies are doing in terms of defining the limits of ingredient usage.
Scope and Methodology
The consumer demographics analysis was developed using data from the 12-Month Spring 2013 Simmons National Consumer Survey Adult Study Base from Experian Marketing Services. The report also draws on a proprietary Packaged Facts National Online Consumer Survey completed in June 2013.
Information on new product introductions was derived from an examination of the retail milieu and from relevant trade, business, and government sources, including company literature, websites, and annual reports.
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