67 percent favor groceries with fewer and simpler ingredients, while roughly the same percentage take nutritional content statements, ingredient-free statements, and statements about health benefits into consideration when buying packaged foods and beverages.
As is well known, food consumers who are buying for those reasons are vocal on social media, focus groups, consumer surveys, and even petitions. They say they want more transparency from the food and beverage industry and shunning artificial ingredients.
In response, the industry is reformulating and repositioning mainstream products and lines to have cleaner labels and to develop their own brands of clean-label products. Food service providers, too, are endeavoring for more transparency and cleaner ingredients statements. If a food has no GMOs, and can replace one preservative with another, reduce sugar and imply reducing unnecessary antibiotics is the same as having no antibiotics, they will do it. And customers will pay more.
Recent examples of catering to vocal minorities who got changes made include:
- Kraft Foods Group announced plans to remove "artificial colors and preservatives" from its flagship Original Macaroni&Cheese boxed dinner mixes beginning in January 2016.
- The Hershey Co. announced that it will begin reformulating its products to be 'simpler, more natural and transparent' and to try and source responsible and sustainable ingredients.
- Nestlé USA announced it would stop using artificial colors and flavors in all its chocolate candy products by the end of 2015.
- Tyson Foods, the country's biggest poultry producer, promised that by September 2017, it expects to eliminate the use of giving its chickens antibiotics that are also used in human medicine.