June 17, 2015
Ingredion has highlighted key results of its latest wave of global consumer research conducted in March 2015, showing that clean label is as much on the radars of consumers in Asia Pacific as in many other parts of the world. The online study was conducted across 17 countries; including China, Japan and Australia, in order to provide Ingredion and its customers with key insights into consumer perceptions of ingredients, labels and product positioning.
Since 2011, Ingredion has been conducting the global consumer research study with an independent research partner – MMR Research Worldwide. The survey is repeated annually to help benchmark and identify any shifts in attitudes or patterns, helping Ingredion and its customers to keep ahead of the changing shape of the clean label trend.
Survey respondents were asked questions such as how important it is to them that they are familiar with the ingredients in their foods and how they feel about other factors such as on-pack claims, and price, when purchasing a food or drink product. The results were highly insightful, and have provided Ingredion with a better understanding of the momentum of the clean label trend, and how the shift towards ‘additive-free’, minimally-processed food and beverage products differs from country to country within Asia Pacific.
A key finding of the latest study was that globally, as high as 80% of consumers feel it is important that they recognise all ingredients listed on their food and drink packaging. Equally, consumers feel that a short and simple ingredient list is important, with Chinese consumers being the 4th most likely to read ingredient lists, of the 17 countries surveyed around the world.
Globally, the top 3 most appealing claims or descriptions are ‘natural/all natural’, ‘no artificial ingredients’ and ‘low or reduced fat/sugar/salt’. In Asia Pacific, on pack claims relating to ‘no additives’ or ‘no artificial ingredients’ are quite or very important to over 80% of Chinese respondents and over 60% of Japanese and Australian respondents. In China, the number of consumers who are quite or very likely to switch brands for a claim of ‘no artificial ingredients’ rose from 54% in 2013 to 65% in 2015 and in Japan, the figure rose from 37% in 2013 to 44% in 2015. Overall, ‘natural’ is the top claim that would make Asian consumers consider switching from their current brand.
Chong Hui Cheng, Wholesome and Culinology Marketing Manager for Asia Pacific commented, “It is undeniable that there is a growing opportunity in Asia Pacific for manufacturers to tap into the blossoming clean label trend. Ensuring that products meet the needs and expectations of consumers in different countries is one challenge, formulating clean label foods successfully and cost-effectively is another. Ingredion is well placed to help food manufacturers to gear up with cleaner formulations and suitable product positioning claims in order to meet consumer preferences.”
Ingredion’s approach to clean label formulation has been developed over 20 years. As a pioneer in clean label, Ingredion offers the broadest range of clean label starches on the market. Ingredion’s NOVATION® starches are used in thousands of products worldwide every day. They are obtained from natural sources such as corn, tapioca, rice and potato. The product line also includes instant or certified organic versions. For consumers, NOVATION® starches are labelled simply as ‘starch’ on the food label – a familiar and trusted ingredient across Asia. For manufacturers, they provide the same functional benefits of traditional modified starches with the advantage of a consumer-friendly label.