Natural Products Insider

SEP-OCT 2017

INSIDER is the leading information source for marketers, manufacturers and formulators of dietary supplements, healthy foods and cosmeceuticals. Since 1997, INSIDER has been serving the needs of the global nutrition industry.

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134 INSIDER September/October 2017 SupplySide West The term "natural" used to be the industry standard highlighting the better- for-you aspect of products and ingredients. It signifi ed that the product was from nature or all natural, and it implied trust, quality and purity. The term went viral, and every brand jumped on the natural bandwagon, including brands with packaging that was typically "healthier" than the product inside. It eventually became an overused punchline losing its meaning and its effectiveness to message healthy, authentic ingredients. Natural is still used today to segment health-focused brands and retailers from other mainstream brands and retailers. Marketing and brand messaging are all about the perception shoppers have for a product or brand. Remember the game where someone would say part of an iconic jingle and you would have to complete it? Besides being fun, the game highlighted how certain brands have become entrenched in our consciousness. The marketing geniuses behind these jingles built brand empires that have completely overshadowed the competitive landscape. For example, several brands are still used to defi ne the entire category: Kleenex, Pop-Tarts, Band-Aid, etc. Clean label is the "new natural." Early adopters of the term focused on the number of ingredients in the product. Some brands argued the term could only be used if the item had less than fi ve or 10 ingredients, which was unfortunate because it distracted from the messaging behind the term. Similar disputes diluted the term natural and served to only confuse shoppers. Y ou Are What You Eat Clean label's focus is now on the authenticity and transparency of the ingredients in a product. This is key because shoppers want clean, healthy products they can trust. Core natural shoppers diligently read product labels and know exactly how the ingredients will impact the health and nutrition of their families. This differentiates them from the average shopper who overlooks or does not understand product labels and the ingredients in the products. The health-conscious consumer is driving the health-focused trends across every channel. Natural products are responsible for the sustainable growth in most categories. In their absence, most categories are either fl at or declining. Terms like "transparency" and "clean label" have recently been adopted as marketing slogans by big brands due to the popularity of these terms in natural branding. This can be unfortunate because the terms sometimes appear on labels of products that are far from such claims. For example, some brands are claiming to be transparent because they stopped using genetically modifi ed organisms (GMOs) or antibiotics. This is misleading. The terms transparency and clean label highlight the traceability of the ingredients from their origin to the fi nished product. To combat confusion around some of these terms, some brands have placed cameras throughout their entire manufacturing facility and broadcast 24/7, some post links to the farms where the ingredients are produced, and others share their third-party ingredient testing reports. This is a relatively new phenomenon that is gaining traction. Consumers want healthy, clean label products they can trust and confi dently feed their families. Shoppers will gladly pay a premium for the products that fully meet their needs: nutrition, satiety, authenticity, transparency, etc. This is why these innovative brands are growing by leaps and bounds despite their higher price points. The industry is taking notice of these important trends, which is why natural products sales are growing faster than their mainstream counterparts. At the heart of clean label is organic. Organic ingredients and health trends are top of mind for shoppers and are fueling all the health and wellness trends across every channel. They are leading sustainable category growth across every channel. Shoppers are even using organic and better-for-you products, along with supplements, to improve health holistically. Clean label is all about consumer perception; it is another way to convey trust, transparency and authenticity in products. Furthermore, clean label can be viewed as the new natural. Savvy retailers are continually striving to build and expand their loyal shopper base. They realize the health-conscious shopper is responsible for the growth in their stores. More importantly, they are beginning to understand the importance of the natural organic shopper and how those shoppers purchase premium products across the entire store, making them the most valuable consumers. Daniel Lohman, CPSA, is a strategic advisor in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) and organic industries. His company, Category Management Solutions (categorymanagementsolutions.com), provides innovative ideas, actionable insights and strategic solutions for companies interested in gaining a signifi cant competitive advantage. Lohman assists companies in expanding their retail distribution and improving their merchandising. His extensive knowledge and expertise has earned him recognition throughout the industry as an expert, speaker, trainer and thought leader. Raising the Clean Label Bar: Empowering Brands by Daniel Lohman Learn more about how marketing and brand messaging can infl uence consumer perception about clean label products from Daniel Lohman during the "Defi ning Clean Label: Moving From Trend to Norm" Workshop, underwritten by Cargill, Synergy Flavors and Tate & Lyle, on Tuesday, Sept. 26 at 9 a.m. at SupplySide West in Las Vegas. supplysideshow.com Scan Here Clean Label Food & Beverage Formulation at SupplySide West

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