Chemicals are the number one food safety issue for Americans. According to the 2015 Food and Health Survey conducted by the International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation, more than one-third of Americans surveyed expressed concern about chemicals in their food – more so than foodborne illness. These figures show a growing awareness of chemicals in food and the trend towards natural solutions is on the rise.

What is a clean label?

While the words “clean label” are becoming more familiar and mainstream within the supplement industry, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not defined this term just like they have not defined the word “natural”. The definition, therefore, is one defined by consumers. Some characteristics of these so-called “clean label” products include no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives; no GMO ingredients; and no banned substances – especially in sports nutrition products.

A clean label should make it easy for the consumer to understand what is in the product. Consumers are demanding maximum transparency through a shorter list with more recognizable ingredients. So the demand for clean labeling has now brought about the need for clear labeling, according to Innova Market Insights that cites this as the top trend for 2015.

Clean labels and dietary supplements

Clean labels are one of the latest consumer food trends presenting a great opportunity for supplement business owners as seen in the results of a 2014 Gallup Study of the U.S. Market for Vitamins and Other Dietary Supplements cited by Nutraceutical World.

Here is what consumers looked for on a supplement label. About 43% of those surveyed said they used supplements with clean labels.

The trend towards clean label products is backed up by sales in a number of supplement categories. According to the Nutrition Business Journal, sales of supplements derived from herbs and botanicals reached an unprecedented high in 2014 marking a continuous 10-year growth.

The whole-food supplements sector was one of the fastest-growing in the supplement industry with sales predicted to rise to $2.7 billion by 2017. The fruit/vegetable supplement sector has seen double-digit growth for past 3 years.

Supplement business owners who want to improve sales in these areas might want to add a range nutraceuticals to their product line. Clean labels have the potential to set your supplements apart from the competition and boost sales.

According to Sloan Trends Inc, consumers in the 50+ age group are the most interested in these labels. Packaged Facts says two-thirds of the projected growth of the dietary supplement industry from 2015 to 2020 will be because of the elderly, ergo, those in the age group of 65+.

Formulation is one key aspect to procuring a clean label. The other crucial aspect is finding a clean supply chain so that the ingredients used in the making of your product are ”clean” as well.

Another important aspect is what the brand writes on the label so that it clearly conveys to consumers that your product is ”clean”.

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