Food additives are ground zero in shift to natural ingredients

Food additives are ground zero in shift to natural ingredients

Processed food manufacturers are finding themselves in a confounding situation. The processed food industry’s turnover from artificial to natural ingredients continues with a vengeance, and food additives are ground zero. Consumers’ preference for clean labels has continued to expand, and the food additives industry is running hard to keep up. For example, major industry R&D investment is driving the release of new naturally sourced colors applicable to a growing number of food categories. The i...


Goodbye to trans fats

Goodbye to trans fats

As expected, the FDA is (at a very measured pace) closing the door on trans fats. Our understanding of the role of fats and oils in the diet has advanced considerably since the simplistic 1980s and 1990s focus on reducing dietary fats altogether (Nabisco’s Snackswells brand is usually cited in this context). That made sense to a degree because fats are higher-calorie than protein or carbs, and because saturated and especially trans fats aren’t healthy.

But that doesn’t mean that anyone ever go...


Label fatigue

Label fatigue

U.S. consumers are increasingly seeking out foods that simply read as fresh and “real,” in addition to inherently healthier foods with positive nutritional qualities. From this perspective, extensive technical nutritional content information on packaged food and beverage products, whether in the mandatory Nutritional Facts Panel or in the currently contested front-of-package labeling schemes, is somewhat beside the point. Consumer interest in knowing as much as possible about the ingredients in ...


The minnows may outswim the whales in the healthy-ingredient snacks market

The minnows may outswim the whales in the healthy-ingredient snacks market

American consumers have permanently changed their eating habits. The era of three square meals a day has gone the way of the typewriter and vacuum tube. More and more Americans eat smaller portions of food more frequently throughout the day, and there is universal agreement in the food industry that this megatrend is here to stay. Another cultural shift fueling the healthy-ingredient snacks market is the high priority placed by many consumers on making sure that the food they-and their kids-eat ...


Seafood sustainability consciousness and the price of a can of tuna

Seafood sustainability consciousness and the price of a can of tuna

Why are many retail groceries stressing that the fresh fish on display in their seafood departments is from sustainable sources? After all, according to Packaged Facts’ June 2013 National Consumer Survey, less than 20% of consumers make a seafood purchasing decision factoring in the sustainability of the catch.

Partly it goes to show the power of the interplay between leading edge shoppers, seafood suppliers, and retailers. The issue is already reaching critical mass in consumer consciousness,...