The Need for a “Cleaner” Food Label

Today’s marketplace is full of thoughtful consumers. Many shoppers take into consideration multiple factors before making any purchase, and this may be especially true when it comes to food. As part of the consumer research1 recently conducted by Dow AgroSciences — the company behind Omega-9 Canola Oil — the team gleaned several key insights about what crosses grocery shoppers’ minds when it comes to a food product’s important attributes.

It turns out that almost half of grocery shoppers seek foods that have undergone minimal processing, and this is especially true for those who seek omega oils as well as information about the origin of the oils in their foods.

Nearly two-thirds (63%) of shoppers would prefer a product without preservatives over a similar one with preservatives. Furthermore, 43% of all shoppers said they were concerned with foods containing preservatives. Shoppers noted they thought these ingredients are unhealthy, unnatural, possibly unsafe or simply an undesirable chemical/additive.

To get a better understanding of shoppers’ purchase intent based on ingredient lists, the survey presented respondents with sample food labels from tortilla chips — with all ingredients remaining the same except for how canola oil was worded. The results? More grocery shoppers preferred and would purchase the product with the ingredient list containing simply “canola oil” (58%) than any of the other lists combined. The ingredient list with simply “canola oil” also was perceived to be the “most natural,” while the list containing “canola oil with TBHQ for freshness” was seen by shoppers as the “least natural.” TBHQ is a common antioxidant used as a preservative.

This particular point is of interest because Omega-9 Canola Oil addresses it. Omega-9 Canola Oil is naturally stable and provides equal or longer shelf life to products containing traditional, high saturated fat shortenings. This then results in the “cleaner” product label that consumers are looking for. This same stability also makes Omega-9 Canola Oil a great option for manufacturers seeking to remove partially hydrogenated oils (PHO) from their formulations.

Contact us if you’d like to learn more about how your food products can obtain a cleaner label.