Ingredient lists still aren't clear enough, survey finds

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

In a survey of 1000 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.

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.

Richard Clarke, Managing Director of Ingredient Communications, said: β€œIngredients companies have taken big steps forward to optimise 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 β€” or reformulating β€” 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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