Are you Looking For Clean Labels?
The new normal is about reading labels and in doing so sourcing out cleaner labels, ultimately which should have cleaner ingredients contained within. The term “clean label” does not yet have any defined meeting relative to how the packaging measures up to the ingredients ( the phrase is relatively new). But this has not stopped consumers from seeking out products that position themselves as being “clean” which we believe to mean they contain fewer chemicals,
fillers, additives etc.. Clean Products ( and thus labels) can also be associated with the product containing no artificial ingredients, Non -GMO, Organic and even locally grown.. Consumers are beginning to seek out foods and beverages that meet their new requirements and want to understand the foods and products they are consuming easily. They are more discerning with the nutrition facts and front of the package summary, and they expect more transparency. What is encouraging is that even without a clear understanding of what the “clean label” really means the tendency itself, is helping to create a movement towards better health, and taking a more proactive approach to wellness and dietary choices.
How Do Supplements Measure up to Clean Labels?
As this trend continues to develop, the expectations and understanding of what is on the label and in the product has transitioned into health stores. This is exciting for natural markets and consumers because some great natural health brands have been ahead of the curve in providing not only easy and clean labels, but also whole food supplements that bring natural health back to nature. What is unique about the natural health industry is that due to stringent Health Canada Regulations, using terms such as Organic, Non-GMO and Natural comes with responsibility, regulations and commitment to meet and exceed label claims. All of these elements are regulated and require verification before claims can be made. This emerging trend is not only about what is put into the product, but also what is kept out of the products and whole food supplements fit the required profile for consumers that are looking for “Clean” products and ingredients. We recently discussed Natural Factors Whole Earth and Sea as one such brand that provides “Whole Food ‘ product lines that contain vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and phytonutrients in a single tablet. Other brands such as Garden of Life, recently introduced their “MyKind” product line that is vegan, non-GMO and contains no unnatural incipients. Mega Foods and Botanica are other brands that excel in the whole food category, with reduced fillers, and clear and concise ingredients and labels. Not all natural products will fall into the “Whole Food” or “Organic Food” category, but natural products are changing, and manufacturers are beginning to substitute some of those unwanted ingredients into more natural sourced options. Supplements for sports are an excellent example of this, whereby high fructose corn syrup (from corn starch) is being substituted with organic cane sugar, stevia or other zero calorie sweetener. Maltodextrin, often found in sports supplements (many of your prepared foods as well) is derived from starch, (used to thicken products, add texture and sweetness), is being switched out for non-GMO versions or brown rice syrup as a perceived healthier choice. Even Gelatin (the main ingredient found in capsules) is being replaced with plant-based options such as agar, carrageenan, pectin or konjak. There are exciting changes to the quest for clean labels and options for healthier choice – watch as they begin to emerge.
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