Survey finds that labelling on food products is still not clear enough

Many food and beverage products do not offer the clear labelling that consumers want, according to new research.

In a survey of 1 000 adults in the UK and USA, commissioned by Ingredient Communications and conducted by SurveyGoo, 50% of people said they are more likely to buy a product if they can recognise all of the ingredients listed on the label. However, in a sign that their needs are not being met, only 19% of respondents said they always recognise all of the ingredients on the pack.

Food label
As many as 81% of consumers said they consider the label claim ‘made with natural ingredients’ to be very appealing or quite appealing

Higher price for recognisable ingredients

Demonstrating the risks of this, more than one third of respondents (36%) admitted they are less likely to buy a product made with an ingredient they do not recognise. Conversely, 44% said they are happy pay a higher price for a product when they recognise all of the ingredients it contains.

The findings of the survey indicate that a large number of consumers consider clear labelling to be a priority but also raise questions about how successfully the industry is catering to their preferences.

Clean label ingredients

Richard Clarke, managing director of Ingredient Communications, says: “Ingredients companies have taken big steps forward to optimize their portfolios to include clean label ingredients that can be declared on-pack in clear language that most consumers will recognise. Manufacturers of finished products should consider formulating – or reformulating – their products to include these ingredients, or they risk being left behind.”

Most respondents to the survey, which was conducted in September 2020, also expressed a preference for natural ingredients and an aversion to artificial additives. As many as 81% of consumers said they consider the label claim ‘made with natural ingredients’ to be very appealing or quite appealing. A similar number (78%) said they consider the label claim ‘free from artificial ingredients’ to be very appealing or quite appealing.

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