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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148 INSIDER September/October 2017 SupplySide West Transparency is a core issue to be recognized as the marketplace continues to raise demands and expectations. In some industries and situations, the government drives the growing expectation of transparency based upon the demands of constituents. In most industries, including the dietary supplement industry, the consumer elevates the expectation of transparency. While transparency is increasing in expectation, we struggle to defi ne transparency and what it should encompass—and also avoid. The reality is the defi nition is a dynamic one, continuously changing. Ultimately, transparency is defi ned by leadership or lack thereof. Howard Schultz, a premier businessman of Starbucks and Seattle SuperSonics fame, is quoted: "I think the currency of leadership is transparency. You've got to be truthful. I don't think you should be vulnerable every day, but there are moments where you've got to share your soul and conscience with people and show them who you are, and not be afraid of it." In other words, transparency is an act of confi dence and bravery. Clean label is a logical endpoint of consumers increasing demand for transparency. Clean label transparency does not begin or end with a label print, but is defi ned by the organization making a claim. The May 2017 edition of Quick Service Restaurants magazine declared 2017 as "The Year of Clean Label." It is argued "clean" is the new "natural." Natural has come under fi re for its lack of defi nition to the consumer. To avoid the semantic debate, the food industry wordsmiths have shifted the focus to clean label, which also remains somewhat undefi ned but is not as controversial as natural. Companies such as Whole Foods Market and Panera have created their own clean label guidelines to defi ne the fi lter applied to the products offered proactively. Expect other leaders to follow. Clean label transparency is defi ned by some as simple, such as the clear declaration of ingredients on a product label. Panera has created a "No No List" and describes clean as "food that does not contain artifi cial preservatives, sweeteners and fl avors along with colors from artifi cial sources." The No No List contains approximately 82 ingredients and specifi cally calls out synthetic astaxanthin and vanillin as prohibited. Whole Foods is clear in identifying the confusion surrounding natural. Whole Foods' website states, "There are many defi nitions for 'natural food products' and many opinions on what food additives to avoid." The website provides a list of 77 unacceptable ingredients that will not be found in food offered at its stores. Expect clean label to be a battleground over the next several years, not only because of consumer expectations, but equally a function of a company being defi ned not only by what it does, but by how it does it. The clean label movement is moving past the listing of ingredients to defi ne "clean." Fewer ingredients and no artifi cial ingredients are no longer the simple defi nitions in many consumers' minds as a clean label. Kira Karapetian of Label Insight recently told "'Clean label,' like 'natural,' is not a defi ned or regulated term. In fact, the scale is varied and broad, based on a wide spectrum of data and analysis. It includes considerations of artifi cial vs. natural, organic vs. GMO, sustainability, fair trade, humane treatment of animals, and even heart healthy. The way people think about food is changing. They care more about what's in the products they purchase and how they were made than ever before. 'Clean label' is a response to this demand for transparency." The Evolving 'Clean Label Culture' The culture of clean label transparency construction can be simplifi ed into seven elements: 1 Motivation—If the motivation is simply profi t generation, the project and message will fail. Lack of sincerity or integrity for the initiative will be quickly unveiled. 2 Disclosure—Shared information cannot be vetted to include only positive information. Negative information that you know is being requested should be provided and explained. 3 Internal and external participation— Employees, vendors, customers and consumers can all contribute to defi ning the expected level of transparency. 4 Relevance—Based upon feedback from all stakeholders, determine the relevance of the information to be provided. 5 Clarity—Make the conversation, whether on label or website, easy to obtain and understand. 6 Credibility—Providing only positive information to support a transparency initiative diminishes credibility. 7 Accuracy—All information shared through the transparency dialogue should be expected to be viewed with increased scrutiny. Your Clean Label Response There are two ways to respond to this growing demand for clean label transparency: proactively or reactively. In simpler terms, an individual, organization or brand can lead or follow, but the reality seems to be this genie is out of the bottle. Most often, when doing consumer research, one cannot expect consumers to create next generation products. At best, they give indications of priorities and interests and Why Clean Label Transparency is Not a Fad by Scott Steinford Learn more about the value of transparency in the supplement industry from Scott Steinford during the "Clean Label Supplements: Understanding the Next Level of Transparency for Dietary Supplements" Panel Discussion, underwritten by Genysis Nutritional Labs, on Thursday, Sept. 28 at 2 p.m at SupplySide West in Las Vegas. Scan Here Clean Label Supplements at SupplySide West

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