The Rise of Natural: SA’s clean label revolution

Consumers discerning and evolving are reshaping the food industry with their choices. At its core, this transformation is driven by a quest for trust and authenticity. Find out how this trend towards natural is redefining SA’s food landscape, according to Oterra.

The growing appetite for clean label products

In the bustling aisles of South African supermarkets, a silent revolution is taking place. Consumers, with their discerning eyes and evolving preferences, are making choices that are reshaping the food industry. At the heart of this transformation is the pursuit of trust and authenticity.

Trust: The cornerstone of consumer choices

It’s no secret that trust plays a pivotal role in a consumer’s decision-making process. When a shopper picks a product off the shelf, they are essentially placing their trust in that brand. Recent data underscores this sentiment, revealing that a staggering 83% of South African consumers trust brands that sport a clean label. But what does ‘clean label’ signify in the South African context? For a vast majority (82%), it translates to products that are natural.

The natural shift: A trend in motion

A glance at the South African market dynamics offers a clear picture of this shift towards natural products. The decline in artificially coloured products is evident in new product releases, with a drop from 11.6% in 2017-2018 to 11.1% in 2021-2022. In contrast, the use of natural colours in new product launches are on the rise. From accounting for 11.1% of launches in 2017-2018, products with natural colours have grown to represent 13% in 2021-2022.

Interestingly, the savoury food segment is leading this charge. Categories such as meat, snacks, soups, and sauces/seasoning are witnessing a surge in the use of natural colours. In fact, the launch of naturally coloured savoury products outpaces their artificially coloured counterparts by a factor of two.

Quality over cost: A price consumers are willing to pay

The inclination towards natural doesn’t just stop at product selection. South African consumers are also willing to invest more in quality. A recent study by Oterra in collaboration with SKChemtrade, presented at SAAFost, highlighted that consumers across LSM 4,5,6 and 7 and 8 segments are prepared to spend up to 10% more on categories like beverages and confectionery. The driving force behind this willingness? A perception of higher quality and the use of natural ingredients, which also spurs about 1% more demand.

The future is natural

As the South African food industry continues to evolve, the message is clear: natural is not just a trend, but a movement. Brands that align with this shift, offering clean and authentic products, are poised to win the trust and loyalty of consumers.

For those keen to delve deeper into this transformation and explore the expansive range of natural colour solutions from Oterra, the invitation is open. Reach out and be a part of South Africa’s vibrant journey towards a more natural and authentic food landscape.

SK Chemtrade


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