Clean label opportunities abound
Another noteworthy finding points to a proliferation of clean label in categories such as salty snacks, frozen foods, cookies and candy, suggesting the trend isn’t limited to so-called healthy food and beverages.
“Clean label ice cream, for example, drove an incremental $106 million to the ice cream category in the last year, growing dollar sales by 26.5 percent,” Nielsen said. “This purchase behavior confirms the notion that consumers will gravitate toward products with ingredients they trust and can easily understand, even when they’re seeking an indulgence.”
Transparency is a mainstream movement. Ninety-three per cent of households have purchased a clean label product at a grocery store, while 70 percent have purchased at a mass merchandiser or supercenter, and 31 percent have purchased at club stores. Across the fast-moving consumer goods space, half of all shopping trips include the purchase of a clean label product, Nielsen said.
Across total food and beverage, clean label has 33 percent share, while conventional has 67 percent. Categories where clean label outperforms conventional include beans (51 percent vs. 49 percent), baking staples (57 percent vs. 43 percent), cooking wine and vinegar (81 percent vs. 19 percent), sugar and sweeteners (83 percent vs. 17 percent) and milk and dairy alternatives (90 percent vs. 10 percent).
“In many categories, the share of shelf space for clean label items is still underindexed compared to food and beverage overall,” Nielsen said. “Categories like salad dressing, where only 19 percent of sales come from clean label products, have an opportunity for innovation and to differentiate themselves with clean products.
“As manufacturers and retailers continue to think about clean label, there are opportunities across the entire store where innovation can help drive growth.”