What is Clean Label? The way people think about food is changing. They care more about what’s in the products they purchase and how they were made than ever before. “Clean label” is a response to this demand for transparency.
According to Harvard Business Review the real marketing food story today is the relentless shift to transparency and what many call the “clean label” movement.
In the food world, a clean label focuses on having fewer ingredients that are very clear about their origins, and recognizable (e.g., “cream” versus “microparticulated whey protein concentrate,” which the fast-growing chain Panera has placed on its long “No No List”).
But “clean label” is a catchall for a much broader and growing list of demands about the human and planetary impacts of all products and services (and the companies behind them). For example, in Germany, McDonald’s is experimenting with selling a burger made with organic beef. Subway just joined a growing list of companies (including, again, McDonald’s) committing to buy mainly antibiotic-free meat. Why are big, mainstream food companies moving toward more natural ingredients? Clearly, there’s a broad trend toward health and wellness, but that’s not the big news here.
Two major forces are driving this Clean Label movement :
- Technology-driven transparency about products and their supply chains, and
- Millennials, who are regularly demanding good behavior from the companies they buy from and work for. This movement, while hitting a fever pitch around products we put in or on our bodies, is not just affecting the food and personal care worlds.
Steve Monahan is an Animal Welfare Influencer. Author Rescue Renew Rehome. He is founder of Green Pets America Charities and the Clean Pet Food Adviser. Both are no-profit organizations in Atlanta Georgia. His current animal welfare book is RESCUE RENEW REHOME, available on Amazon Books and other book retailers. Steve has been recognized by the State of Georgia for humanitarian efforts on behalf of families and companion animals.