Consumers lack the fact-based knowledge they need to make good food choices. They are lost in translation and desperately looking for the truth. That was revealed by the Taste Tomorrow survey. Limited consumer knowledge, combined with a pessimistic outlook on the future and a rise of non-experts spreading their opinions on how to live healthily, makes consumers susceptible to food myths. These myths can become so big they can make or break a product, brand or even a category. Therefore, it’s necessary to educate the public on the true benefits of our industry’s gems.
Food myths that rose from a lack of knowledge
The survey revealed that consumers are being bombarded by all kinds of messages – sometimes contradictory – from media and so-called experts about what is good for them. This gives rise to food myths that can break complete categories. Some shocking facts that the survey revealed:
- 42% believes gluten can cause digestive problems for the majority of consumers
- 57% feels that bread should be avoided if one pays attention to weight
- More than 70% thinks bread without additives is healthier
- Only 39% knows bread contains fibres
The survey shows us it’s extremely important to tell consumers the truth. We should feed them with facts instead of myths, and we can do that by, among other things, offering transparency and clear labels.
Provide clear and clean labels
To learn about the composition of their food, consumers pay more attention to the product label. There’s a growing demand for short, clean and clear labels, with a distinct ingredients overview, mainly natural ingredients and ingredient names consumers know and understand.
However, be careful. A clean label should not be a goal in itself. Don’t jeopardise the quality of your products by replacing ingredients that shouldn’t be replaced. Make sure you always guarantee product performance and food safety.
Educate consumers about health benefits
The Taste Tomorrow survey also showed that many consumers have grown unfamiliar with some of the most basic ingredients in bread, pastry, patisserie and chocolate. Additionally they don’t know about the healthiness of these ingredients. They do hear urban legends about bread and chocolate being unhealthy. It’s our joint responsibility to tell consumers what's in their food and educate them about the health benefits of certain ingredients.
Communicate about the ingredients of your products
The Taste Tomorrow survey gave another interesting insight. When asked what ingredients they thought added to the taste and healthiness of a product, most of them thought of wholegrain, fruit and chocolate or cacao. An interesting opportunity strikes: point out which of your products contain these ingredients.
Be a myth buster
Do you hear someone tell a myth about bread or chocolate being unhealthy? Be a myth buster. Tell him the truth, show him the facts. You can find facts about bread in the article Fact checking: the truth about bread, in which Adeline Pierre, nutrition R&D manager at Puratos, dispels some persistent myths about bread. Spread the word!
Interested in how you can make consumers more conscious of the ingredients and health benefits of your products? Don’t hesitate to contact your local Puratos representative. We are continuously developing new methods and solutions to answer to consumers’ needs for healthy products and cleaner labels.