ONCE CONSIDERED TO BE JUST ANOTHERFAD, thecleanlabel trend is here to stay. The year 2017 is positioned to be “the year of clean label,”
remembered as a time when supermarkets embraced customers’ expectations
for natural ingredients as the new normal, even in indulgent categories such as
For in-store bakeries, this trend offers
a major opportunity. Because grocery
shoppers are looking for healthy food for
their families and reading
labels on packaged food
products, they approach
your bakery counter with
a clean label mindset. This
means shoppers who regularly purchase baked goods
will show more interest in a
shorter, simpler ingredient
list–and shoppers who previously were not interested
in purchasing treats may be
persuaded by the promise
of a clean label.
Since today’s shoppers are willing to
pay a premium for foods with shorter, eas-ier-to-understand ingredient lists, stores
stand to ultimately profit from investing
in the movement. However, you should
act now, as the opportunity to charge a
premium for foods with a shorter, simpler
ingredient list may be a narrow window.
As this trend continues to gain momentum among consumers, a clean label may
soon become a baseline expectation.
Increasingly, consumers want transpar-
ency at every level of the supply chain.
Today’s shoppers want to know more
about where their food comes from, how
it is made and even how it is transported.
Supermarkets should keep in mind that,
while a clean and clear ingredients list
can score major points with consumers, it
is just one part of a store’s larger transpar-
Another trend related to clean label
baked goods is the movement toward
a balanced diet that incorporates “good
fats” and “good sugars.” Not long ago,
fats were disparaged as the root of all ills.
Soon after that, sugars became the culprit. Now, consumers approach food with
a more nuanced understanding. In fact,
when asked to define a “healthy eating
style,” in a recent survey, consumers’ top
three responses were as follows:
1. The right mix of different foods
2. Limited or no artificial ingredi-
ents or preservatives
3. Natural foods
Rather than disparaging fat or sugar,
consumers are increasingly interested
in a balanced diet based on ingredients they perceive as more natural. That
means a clean label can make a difference, even when it comes to sweet treats
such as baked goods.
OFFERING CLEAN SOLUTIONS
This plan of action can help in-store bakeries take the first step toward offering
clean label options that draw a premium
price and position your store as a leader
with a pulse on consumer trends.
Start the conversation. Your bakery
team is your best connection to your cus-
tomers. Have them start a dialogue with
customers to determine how shoppers
feel about clean label baked goods and
what ingredients concern them.
Create a definition or leverage
your company’s existing definition.
Different ingredients matter more – or
less – to different shoppers. Determine
what clean label means to your customers based on the conversations you have.
The ingredients they are most concerned
about are the ones you should eliminate
Work with your suppliers. Your
suppliers are partners in your business
and can help you offer great-tasting
baked goods within your new clean label
Educate your customers on your
definition of clean label and why it
matters. Work with your suppliers and
marketing team to create on-package
messaging and point-of-sale signage.
Develop talking points so your staff can
spread the word and help tell your transparency story.
The time is now for supermarkets to
embrace the clean label trend, leveraging
the opportunity to sell premium products
and position themselves as leaders. But, it
is important to remember the clean label
trend is not just a rejection of certain dif-ficult-to-pronounce ingredients. Rather,
it is a symptom of a larger movement
toward authenticity. By approaching this
shift in a holistic way, in-store bakeries
can simultaneously win over consumers
while predicting their next concerns and
laying a foundation for the future.
It all starts with your customers. By
understanding their needs, concerns and
desires, you can offer great-tasting treats
while helping them feel better about the
choices they make.
THE YEAR OF THE CLEAN LABEL BAKERY
Supermarkets embracing the clean label trend have the opportunity to sell premium products and position
themselves as leaders.
By Erik Enyedy
Erik Enyedy is senior market-
ing manager at Dawn Foods.
He can be reached at erik.