The Importance of Clean Label
Quick and convenient foods - like those meals for one we sometimes buy because we’re in a rush, or the meals we find in the freezer - often have one thing in common. They’re fairly highly processed. What’s the one thing that processed foods tend to have? Yes, an ingredients list as long as your arm. The more processed the food, the more ingredients there are, the messier the label. Colourings, flavourings, additives, preservatives…often the long list of ingredients contains words and E-number codes that you’d need a science degree to decipher.
Many retailers are now continuing to embrace foods that don’t have a litany of ingredients. This is the importance of clean label. The fewer the ingredients, the cleaner the label. This makes it easier for the retailer to promote the items they carry as healthy, organic, natural, and all those other things that are currently responsible for the major growth areas in food.
The discerning consumer now comes in a variety of guises. They might be health-aware, looking for natural ingredients wherever they can find them. They might be environmentally conscious, looking for products that are sourced sustainably, of organic origin, and not tested on animals. They might also be people who avoid meat, fish and / or dairy. The chances are the discerning consumer is a combination of these perspectives, and they’re the ones powering the change in buying habits - and therefore supply habits too.
In the picture above you can see the label for smRt penne, part of our smRt organic pasta range. It’s organic, artisan Italian pasta and a little organic Irish seaweed. It might not look like a clean label, because it’s in 5 different languages, but it’s very clean. The ingredients in smRt penne? Organic durum wheat semolina flour, organic seaweed (around 2%) and water (again, 2%). That’s it, three ingredients. You could say the same for our macaroni, fusilli and gluten-free fusilli range too, though the gluten-free version has organic rice flour instead of durum wheat flour. Clean label, and great-tasting, what’s not to like?
We’ve applied the same principle to our smRt organic health bars, which will be out soon. Like smRt pasta, they’re also what we call organic-plus, which is organic plus health benefits. The bars come in three flavours: mint, orange and cocoa. They’re also clean label. The cocoa bar, for example, has just five organic ingredients: dates, raisins, cashew nuts, cocoa and a little organic Irish seaweed. Just a handful of ingredients, and a great-tasting bar that helps you maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.