There is a difference between putting a "clean" label on a product and truly convincing a shopper that the item is healthy or a valuable part of a balanced diet. Companies will aim to cross this divide in 2018, spurred by the opposing forces of rising interest in clean living and a suspicion of labels that appear more concerned with making a sale than actually acting as dietary guides.
Rather than disguising marketing tactics as appeals to healthy living, brands may succeed in 2018 by leaning on honest and thorough assessments of their items' nutritional value. Embracing the spirit of the clean labeling trend as well as its rules and regulations may be the move that truly enables this approach to thrive.'
The 2.0 Movement
"Companies are set to deliver labels tuned to suit consumers' packaging preferences."
Packaging World recently discussed Mintel Global Packaging Director David Luttenberger's top predictions for the packaging industry in 2018. Unsurprisingly, clean labeling is among them. After this trend had a huge year in 2017, its continued presence is a given. Luttenberger doesn't see companies holding to their current courses, however. Instead, they're set to deepen their commitment to clean labeling and deliver results tuned to suit consumers' packaging preferences.
During the first few years of the present clean labeling focus, companies have run the risk of overloading their shoppers with information. Clarity of design could therefore be the defining trend of the year ahead. Luttenberger noted that the graphic style of 2018 will assume an "essentialist" shape, with labels stripped down to their main descriptive elements. People do want to see nutritional information on the front of packages, they simply don't want to wade through unnecessary text to find it.
Honesty Suits Savvy Customers
Brands hoping to attract health-conscious shoppers in 2018 will be able to do so with honest and clear labels. Those that try other means – namely, making technically true claims meant to confuse consumers – may find that buyers are wise to their tricks. The Washington Post reported on a few of these tactics, including bragging about the absence of substances that never appear in a certain type of food and using "organic" to imply unhealthy foods have dietary benefits.
As more shoppers encounter tricky techniques designed to make them buy unhealthy foods, they may turn their backs on these claims and seek out clearer, more honest packages. This is where food producers dedicated to clear, clean labeling can seize an opportunity to impress.