The Top Clean-Label Food Brands in 2023: A Comprehensive Review
In the past few years, the food and beverage industry has experienced drastic changes in terms of shifting consumer eating habits towards healthy food patterns. There is a strong demand for healthy food products among consumers, owing to the increasing awareness regarding the health benefits of consuming healthy food. Besides, the rise in chronic disease prevalence is another major factor escalating the demand for organic and healthy food. According to the World Health Organization, non-communicable diseases (NCDs), also known as chronic diseases, kill around 41 million people each year, equal to 74% of all deaths worldwide. Cardiovascular diseases account for most NCD deaths, or 17.9 million people annually, followed by cancers (9.3 million), chronic respiratory diseases (4.1 million), and diabetes (2.0 million, including kidney disease deaths due to diabetes).
Clean Eating Trends 2023
Growing popularity of Keto Diet, Gluten-Free Diet or Fad Diet due to the increasing importance of weight management is expected to be an emerging trend in the market. The rising cases of obesity worldwide is contributing to the rise in demand for weight management diets. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) - CDC, during 2017 – March 2020, the U.S. obesity prevalence was 41.9%. From 1999 –2000 through 2017 –March 2020, U.S. obesity prevalence rose from 30.5% to 41.9%. During the same time, the prevalence of severe obesity increased from 4.7% to 9.2%. Such rise in the prevalence of obesity is fuelling the demand for weight management diets such as Keto Diet, Gluten-Free Diet or Fad Diet among consumers.
Natural Ingredients in Food Labels
Food labeling is an essential part of natural and fresh food packaging, as it is legally required for food producers, and failing to obey this can lead to severe complications. Additionally, food labeling also supports consumers in making informed decisions when purchasing food. Food labeling contains information related to the list of ingredients and percentage of certain ingredients, storage instructions, and use by dates. All this information is essential for consumers as it helps them to store and consume food safely. Nowadays, natural ingredients in food labeling are gaining traction due to the increasing adoption of healthy lifestyles among consumers, and consumers are becoming more aware of the ill effects of artificial ingredients in food products.
Organic Food Brands Review
Organic food brands are valued for their dedication to sustainable farming practices. The onset of the pandemic has given the organic food industry a major push due to the increasing awareness regarding the consumption of pesticide-free and organic food products. Moreover, key organic food companies are expanding their product portfolio and distribution channels to meet the growing demand of health-conscious consumers. Some of the key companies operating in the organic food market are Nature Bio Foods Limited, Sresta Natural Bioproducts Pvt. Ltd, India Organics, and ORGANIC INDIA Pvt. Ltd., among others.
Top Clean-Label Food Brands
True Elements, Rich’s, Whole Foods, International Flavors & Fragrances Inc., and Kerry Group, among others, are some of the top brands operating in the clean-label food industry. In October 2021, a startup Indian brand True Elements, involved in healthy snacks & breakfast received 'Clean Label' certification by the Clean Label Project, U.S.
Rich’s is another popular brand that offer food products ranging from toppings to appetizers. They have all gluten-free, all-natural and organic options to fulfill the need of consumers. The company’s product portfolio include pizza, breads & rolls, donuts, toppings & creams, cookies, cakes & brownies, and bettercreme.
Whole Foods Market, Inc. is an American multinational brand, which sells food products free from synthetic colors, flavors, preservative, and hydrogenated fats.
Health Benefits of Clean Eating
Good nutrition is essential to keep the body healthy and avoid infectious and non-infectious diseases. Poor nutrition can lead to various diseases, such as heart disease, obesity, and different forms of cancers. Individuals with healthy eating habits are at lower risk of developing chronic disease and also live longer. Moreover, for people suffering from chronic disease, healthy eating habits can help to manage various chronic conditions. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), iron deficiency is the most common form of micronutrient malnutrition globally. In the U.S., 1 in 6 women is iron deficient during pregnancy; deficiency is higher among non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics.
Non-GMO Food Products
Non-GMO food products are experiencing a strong demand across the globe as it is produced without ingredients that are derived from genetically engineered organisms. Growing awareness regarding the health benefits of non-GMO food products coupled with the rise in environmentally-conscious consumers around the globe is expected to uplift the demand for non-GMO food products. In addition, various clean label food brands are encouraging farmers to grow non-GMO food products in order to meet the growing demand across consumers.
Sustainable Food Packaging
These clean-label food brands focus on reducing their environmental impact and actively adopting sustainable packaging solutions such as recyclable, paper-based, biodegradable materials and compostable plastics for food packaging. Sustainable food packaging has gained noteworthy attention in recent years due to the increasing accumulation of plastic waste in the environment. This increases the environment, humans, and other species' exposure to toxins released from plastic packaging. Sustainable packaging aims to reduce the environmental effects, food wastage, and chemical contamination. An increase in innovation in sustainable packaging will create the demand for more sustainable food packaging solutions. For instance, Sabert Corporation, an innovative sustainable food packaging solutions provider, launched five new packaging and catering products in November 2022. These eco-friendly products are developed from various materials, each with unique sustainability benefits, including recyclability, compostability, and recycled content usage.
Artificial Preservatives Free Food
Artificial preservative-free food products are witnessing remarkable demand among consumers due to increasing preferences for clean labels and natural food ingredients. This is accredited to the growing awareness of ill effects of artificial food ingredients on human health. The growing popularity of organic and natural food products owing to the rapid adoption of healthy eating habits among consumers is contributing to the demand for artificial preservative-free foods.
Whole Foods Market Choices
With the rise in the prevalence of various lifestyle disorders, whole foods choices are gaining high demand. Whole foods and grains are fresh fruits, vegetables, oats, beans, brown rice and barley, nuts, shellfish, fish, and eggs. Eating whole or minimally processed foods can help an individual to stay healthy.
Nutritional Value of Natural Foods
The nutritional value of natural foods unveils the amount of fats, carbohydrates, proteins, and energy that can be utilized during food digestion. Various R&D activities are going on to study the impact of nutritional value on food product labels and consumer purchasing behaviour. This can help food manufacturers to increase nutrition labeling for consumers.
Farm to Table Food Brands
With the advent of various farm to table food brands, now consumers can order farm-fresh vegetables, fruits, dry commodities, and local produce. Basically, farm-to-table food brands enable restaurants to source food ingredients from farms. Organic Farm Delight, Happy Farms (farm fresh products and groceries), Jaivik Farms, and Farm 2 Kitchen are some of the farm to table food brands.
Eco-friendly Food Manufacturing
The growing environmental concerns and increasing adoption of sustainable agriculture farming have created a demand for eco-friendly food manufacturing. The key objective of sustainable food manufacturing is to reduce food wastage, minimize energy consumption, and preserve the environment for future generations. Various food manufacturers are introducing innovative practices to minimize their environmental impact to promote sustainability.
Transparency in Food Sourcing
According to the Response Media, 99% of people want transparency in their fresh food products, 98% want transparency in packaged foods, and 70% are always or often influenced by transparency. Nowadays, consumers want to know what they are eating, and a transparent food brand offers information on the product's sourcing, ingredients, production process, packaging, and sustainability. This increases consumer trust in food labels and helps in purchasing food products.
Transparency in food sourcing can also help companies to increase brand value. Demand for transparency in food manufacturing also increases consumers' loyalty toward brands and enables healthy food brand comparisons.
With the rise in demand for clean-label food products, plant-based clean-label products are gaining high consumer adoption.
Plant-based clean-label products are produced from herbs, spices, natural extracts, natural preservatives, and plant-based ingredients. The clean-label foods market is expected to witness a positive trend in the near future because consumers are becoming conscious of artificial preservatives, additives, and synthetic ingredients in their food.
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