Food Formulation Trends: Ingredients Consumers Avoid
Food avoidance has become a way of life for tens of millions of American consumers of all ages. For consumers with allergies and intolerances, avoiding certain food and ingredients is a matter of life and death. But for other consumers avoiding various foods is a matter of choice based on a desire to lose weight or to have an overall healthier life.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the numbers of people with allergies is on the rise. In addition, many sources suggest that the number of people choosing to avoid some ingredients, such as gluten, is also increasing. Many in this group of consumers have no specific illness but are reacting to a barrage of messages received through social media, online, and traditional media sources suggesting that some ingredients are a health threat to the general populace, not just the limited number of people who have been diagnosed with an allergy, intolerance, or sensitivity.
Food manufacturers, recognizing the opportunity to appeal to concerned consumers who also tend to be trendsetters for other consumers, are extremely accommodating to this trend, reformulating products to eliminate those ingredients that are being shunned. Of course, food manufacturers have been reformulating their products for decades, especially products in which the fat, sugar, or salt contents needed to be reduced or eliminated in order to appeal to more health-conscious consumers. 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). The move by General Mills to introduce a non-GMO version of its Cheerios product is especially interesting in that the company has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to the campaigns to defeat mandatory labeling of products containing GMO ingredients.
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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