Buckle up. The top trend driving innovation in the snack and bakery industries has no formal definition, isn’t regulated, and is shifting all of the time. Yes, clean label demands are touching every facet of the food industry, from formulation to packaging and marketing—and everything in between.
But is everyone on the same page? That’s questionable.
Removing unwanted ingredients and finding clean label replacements is a top challenge for formulators, especially because many conventional ingredients are directly at odds with clean label goals. “Many traditional ingredients are typically not minimally processed, nor do traditional product formulations call for fewer ingredients,” says Jay Johnson, chief operating officer, Healthy Food Ingredients, Fargo, ND. One easy way to meet a clean label goal, he says, is to switch to natural and organic alternatives of existing ingredients. Some simple swaps, he adds, include ingredients that utilize or are produced from whole grains, beans, seeds, expeller or mechanically pressed oils, or minimally processed flour.