Today’s Grocer – Guest Editorial

From Retailers to Manufacturers to Consumers – Why Everyone Benefits from Clean Labels

The trend of simplifying ingredient lists has challenged many in the food business. As the clean label trend has evolved, so have the efforts to reduce the number of ingredients in many products. What has put manufacturers on notice that now is the time to go clean? Is it a growing demand for transparency, or just the price of business?

With Millennials becoming the largest consumer base and their growing interest in reading labels and desire to recognize the ingredients, clean labels must become the norm. Companies that are resistant to this trend will find themselves left behind. Long gone are the days of listing ingredients that consumers can’t pronounce on labels – now it is the fewer the better.

The desire for clean labels started with the small advocated groups and savvy consumers but has moved to the mainstream in recent years. Therefore, the food manufacturers and retailers realized they needed to respond with larger commitments to clean labels. Critical mass has been achieved as Millennials are driving the change with Baby Boomers and others following. This trend has spread across the industry from small companies boasting about their all-natural preservatives to major CPG companies such as Nestle and General Mills removing artificial flavors and colors, to McDonald’s and Panera creating entire marketing campaigns about where their food is coming from.

Some players in the industry are reacting, and some are trying to lead the way, but at the end of the day, the bottom line is clean labels are good for all of us.

Simplifying and minimizing overall ingredient statements in regards to harsh and non-natural preservatives makes reading labels easier as well as providing a product which is healthier for consumers. Consumers are very busy, and are demanding cleaner labels and healthier alternatives. For example, our products deliver these in a tasty sausage.

WILLIAM JENNINGS, CEO of First Fresh Foods, has nearly 30 years of dedicated experience in the food industry. His aptitude for visionary leadership and corporate strategy have led to successes in developing productive environments and strengthened corporate communities. Contact him at 

See the original article in Today’s Grocer on page 4.