5 clean label brands to keep an eye on

22 Feb 2022


91% of consumers read information on food packaging. But what information are they looking for exactly? The latest Taste Tomorrow research shows that the listed ingredients grab the eye first. 64% of consumers state that information matters most on food wrapping. No wonder the clean label trend is booming.

Consumers favour products with a short list of ingredients, and therefore with a ‘clean label’. They look for food items without preservatives (checked by 43% of consumers) and artificial flavourings and colourings (checked by 39% of consumers). But the definition of ‘clean label’ is expanding beyond just the number and type of ingredients, with 39% of food shoppers looking for information on the source of ingredients. Labels need to be clear as well as clean.

Get inspired by these five food brands that have fully embraced the clean label approach:

1. Rugani Juice - nothing but fruit & vegetables (South Africa)

Getting a cleaner food label than the ones from Rugani Juice is almost impossible. Drinks from this South African brand consist of 100% fruit and veggies. The ingredients list on their apple juice cartons makes up only two words: fresh apples. To achieve this, Rugani Juice uses the world’s first extraction facility that can produce juice that has a 12-month shelf life and is devoid of additives. Rugani Juice makes use of clever processing and aseptic, long-life packaging. This innovation is made possible by the two-fold role Rugani Juice has in the production – as both the farmer and processor. This allows them to harvest their produce daily and extract the juice within just four hours. Their products are therefore attractive to clean-label enthusiasts and customers on the lookout for field-to-fork transparency.

2. Plantcraft - clean veggie deli meats (New Zealand/Hungary)

There are incredible innovations in plant-based meat alternatives, but these products often seem to contain a rather long list of ingredients – which consumers need to unscramble. That is not the case with the deli product range that Plantcraft has developed for the food and beverage industry. With their clean label-approach, they’ve developed products that are free from stabilisers, emulsifiers, synthetic acidity regulators, flavour enhancers, or any other additives.

Plantcraft’s pepperoni, pâté and deli slices consist of just pseudocereals, green bananas, legumes, herbs and spices. This makes their products sustainable and allergy friendly, since they contain no nuts, gluten, grains or soy.

3. That’s It - straightforward fruit bars (USA)

Healthy snack bar company That’s It is so committed to its clear label approach, this ethos is even reflected in the brand’s name. They stick to a five-or-less-ingredients approach for their entire product range, but for their most popular fruit bars they stick to two. The wrapper of their apple-strawberry bar, for instance, states ‘1 Apple + 12 Strawberries. That’s it.’ The ingredients list is so short, the company can simply place it on the front of their packaging. Their goal is to make ‘eating healthy snacks easy and stress-free’, so they always opt for natural, non-GMO fruit and keep their bars free from contamination from the top 12 food allergen groups.

4. Tastes Natural - keeping it healthy & tasty (USA)

You won’t find any products by Tastes Natural in the supermarket, but you can find consumer products in the supermarket shelves that have used Tastes Natural for their clean label approach. What Tastes Natural do is produce organic, all-natural ingredients that enhance the taste of food. They have, for instance, invented a process called ‘TruBlock’, which removes the bitter taste of foods.

TruBlock can be used in dressings, dips, gummies, drinks and chewables. With this process, Tastes Natural helps other food producers keep their products both healthy and tasty. The patent-pending reactive process removes the bitterness of active ingredients to enhance the taste of healthier food options. By removing the bitter taste with TruBlock, other ingredients such as sugar and salt can be cut down or even removed. So the product doesn’t just get a cleaner label with fewer additives, but actually becomes a healthier option.

5. True Elements - retrace each ingredient (India)

‘Welcome to a world that is Made of Truth’ states the homepage of Indian plant-based breakfast startup True Elements. They promise customers products made out of ‘100% Wholegrains, 0% Preservatives, 0% Added Sugar. 0% False Promises and Jargon’. To back up these claims, they not only work with wholefood ingredients, but try to be as transparent as possible.

On the True Elements website, customers can trace the entire journey their purchased products have made from farm to kitchen. By entering the batch code on the product, customers get an overview of the entire production chain and process. This goes as far as mentioning when and where ingredients were picked for each specific pack.

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