Market research firm reports on “free from” trend in snack foods.

  • For years, the food industry has been looking for ways to eliminate or reduce the production of foods that contain ingredients associated with negative consumer perception.  In recent examples, a nationwide restaurant chain promoted a “GM-free” and additive reduction campaign; a major food processor pledged to remove artificial colors and preservatives from its flagship product; and leading cereal producers promised to remove artificial ingredients from their cereals.
  • A leading market research firm now reports that “free from” claims are poised to become an industry standard in the snack food marketplace.  The firm reports that 23% of new snack products launched in 2014 claimed to have no additives or preservatives; 25% said they had low, no, or reduced allergens; and 21% claimed low, no, or reduced trans fat.
  • It comes as no surprise that consumers continue to seek more health and “purity” in the food supply, and consumer perception and spending will continue to drive marketing claims for food products.  As companies continue to work with their supply chains to support claims such as “free from” or “no artificial…,” they must exercise caution to insulate themselves from the risk of challenge from competitors and plaintiffs’ class action lawyers.