Clean label is no longer a trend—it’s a movement! It is a shift to transparency within the food industry, as consumers are asking more questions about the food they intake. What is it? Where is from? How is it made? Who made it? The movement is a societal shift in thinking, a blanket for the broader awareness surrounding the food industry itself. Today, consumers are demanding fewer ingredient lists, recognizable ingredient names and a clarity about the origin of the ingredients. Thus, the industry must step up to the clean label challenge and meet these demands head on, or risk being left behind.

According to Andrew Winston, Millennials are one of the major forces driving the clean label movement, as they are regularly demanding good behavior from the companies they buy from and work for. This latest generation of workers and parents are twice as likely to “check product packaging to ensure sustainability” and “seek employment with a company because of its stance on social and/or environmental issues.” With approximately 10,000 of these individuals turning 30 every day, their purchasing power is on the rise and will inevitable steer the clean label movement forward.

Fortunately, food companies have been listening! Kraft Foods Group, for example, has announced the removal of artificial colours and preservatives from its flagship Original Mac & Cheese dinner mix; Unilever USA has vowed to source milk and cream only from cows not treated with artificial growth hormones for all its ice cream brands; and Hershey’s announced it would begin formulating its products with simpler and easier-to-understand ingredients, to name a few.

Whether clean label ingredients, better-for-you products, or free-from ingredients, Embassy Flavours has also abided by its promises to provide the greatest quality bakery ingredients and flavours available. The company has actively taken a step to produce clean label ingredients with shorter ingredient lists, incorporated natural flavours and colours into its ingredients and turned to natural sweeteners such as: honey, maple syrup and agave nectar to avoid refined sugar, or organic compliant baking powder. Not to mention, Embassy’s R&D teams are constantly developing innovative ways to improve its offerings and meet consumer demands. Who says clean eating couldn’t taste so good?

As society continues to shift towards actively engaging with their food and asking the hard hitting questions, transparency within the food industry will be even more important. Neglecting the clean label movement will not only cost you customers, workers and opportunities, it may cost your business a future. It’s time to get savvy and cultivate a Clean Mean Eating Machine.

Source: “Keeping Up with the “Clean Label” Movement”, Andrew Winston, Harvard Business Review, 2016.