Better-for-You, Cleaner Labels, & Great Taste? Yes, It’s Possible!

Whether it’s something salty or sweet, ingredients to make a family dinner or a quick post-workout snack, consumers are paying more attention to what’s in their food than ever. 

While taste will always be the deciding factor of whether or not a consumer continues to purchase a product, getting them to even try it the first time is increasingly determined by what nutritional benefits the product offers.

According to Ingredion’s ATLAS 2023 survey, the top factors influencing food and beverage purchase decisions globally are as follows:

  1. Brand
  2. Ingredient list
  3. Ingredient claims
  4. Nutritional information
  5. Health claims
consumer choosing a product

Additionally, the most common purchasing behavior of those surveyed was a tie between checking ingredient labels and nutritional labels at 43%, both up from 36% two years ago.

This is notable because that same survey showed that, at a minimum, over ⅔ and, in some cases, over 75% of consumers would be willing to pay more for products with labels that matched specific criteria.

consumer on dairy aisle

For example:

  • 69% of consumers are willing to pay more for products containing no added sugar/salt.
  • 77% for products that offer “health benefits”.
  • 78% if the product claimed to be “All Natural”.

In this current market, the ability to make and stand by better-for-you (BFY) claims like these could make or break the success of your product. 

However, it’s important to note that although consumers are looking for healthier food and beverage options, they aren’t only looking at traditionally “healthy foods”.

Nowhere is the impact of the better-for-you trend on foods traditionally viewed as “indulgent” or “unhealthy” more apparent than in snacks and ice cream.

Treating Yourself: Healthier Choices

When it comes to snacks, around 60% of consumers globally say they are looking for healthier options. Even more surprising, though, is that 60% of individuals say that they are eating healthy snacks daily! In the case of ice cream, Innova Market Insights found that even though indulgent claims might be most associated with the frozen treat, health claims carry the same level of influence on a consumer’s purchasing decisions.

While the most common claims in both segments tend to be reductions (low-fat, reduced sugar/sodium, gluten-free), fortifications (added protein, fiber, etc.), or clean ingredients (natural, organic), these can be further tailored for your specific target consumers. 

gluten free pancakes

From diet-specific labels like keto or vegan to functional nutrition such as digestive health or immunity, the possibilities for customization are nearly endless.

Still, as important as these claims may be for inspiring consumers to try your product, they often introduce taste challenges that could keep them from coming back. 

As I mentioned before, the deciding factor in creating repeat consumer purchases always comes down to one simple question:

“Does it taste good?”.

The unfortunate truth is that the answer to that question hasn’t consistently been a good one. 

Fortunately, flavors can change that. 

They can help you take advantage of this opportunity and create products that your consumers can’t get enough of and feel good eating.

Bold Claims Need Bold Flavors

I’ve discussed in detail the power of our flavors to mask off-notesimprove the mouthfeel and perceived texture, and add perceived sweetness/savoriness to reductions; that isn’t all they can do.

dairy products

Anne Marie Butler, Global Director of Strategy & Innovation, might have said it best in her recent article, “Our flavours allow you to unleash the creative power of your innovations.”

Unlike other ingredients in your formulation, there is no tradeoff between your target front-of-pack claims and your target taste. Transforming all your products in better-for-you ones.

Instead, our flavors give you the unique opportunity to create new and exciting taste experiences, instilling consumer confidence in your claims.  

Whether it is developing fun flavors for kids like birthday cake and brownie batter or creating complex and culturally diverse options to satisfy sophisticated foodies, our flavors make it possible.

No matter what claim you are trying to achieve or challenges you are looking to overcome, Edlong has the right solution for you

Your consumers shouldn’t have to choose between a good label and great taste. With our flavors, they no longer have to, everything can be better-for-you.

About the Author: Julie Drainville, Sensory Manager

Julie Drainville leads all sensory functions for Edlong globally, maintaining a trained employee panel for sensory testing, and also collaborating with applications scientists and customers to run testing to meet project needs. Julie has an extensive background in food science including over 15 years in the sensory field, a degree from Purdue University in Foods, Nutrition and Business/Dietetics, a Master of Science in Nutrition Education from Rosalind Franklin University, and completion of the UC Davis Applied Sensory and Consumer Science Certificate Program.


Topics: Better For You
Resource Type: Article
Resource Region: EULATAMUS

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