A new study, Cracking the Clean Label Code, has highlighted clean-label opportunities for manufacturers and retailers in the baking industry.

Cracking the Clean Label Code was commissioned by ingredients provider Ingredion and conducted by MMR Research Worldwide, using 1,000 respondents in the UK and Russia.

According to the study, an average of 30% of consumers now actively look for products with some form of clean-label claim. Seventy per cent of those purchasing bakery products were aware of clean-label claims, and said these influenced their buying decision.

Mona Schmitz-Hübsch, European marketing manager at Ingredion, said: “Our research tells us consumers are actively looking for products with clean-label claims.”

suspicious of e-numbers

Over 75% were suspicious of e-numbers, and replacing them with more recognisable ingredients should be a priority for food manufacturers, it said.

Schmitz-Hübsch added: “By providing information on the impact of different types of clean-label claims on consumers, this report helps food manufacturers to successfully develop new products, and reformulate existing ones, in the dairy and bakery clean label space.”

Understandable terminology was seen as preferable, with a shorter ingredients list perceived as healthier or more “home-grown”. It said consumers preferred familiar products and language such as flour, corn flour, protein and fibre.

perceived to taste better

Artisan breads made with high-quality, minimally-processed ingredients were mentioned, with clean label products perceived to taste better. Quality ingredients such as extra virgin olive oil were perceived as a positive.

Natural or no additives claims were enough to make 63% of consumers switch brands, according to the report.UK consumers showed significantly higher purchase intent for foods with a natural positioning.

Claims that influenced purchasing decisions included wholegrain, locally sourced and high in or source of.

The report also identified six shopping personalities, with almost a third of all respondents categorised as shopping personalities that have a high propensity to make product selections on the strength of favourable on-pack claims.