Food Labeling - Packaging Changes Driven by 'Clean' Labels

Back to NAM Blog

Food Labeling - Packaging Changes Driven by 'Clean' Labels

What is a 'clean label?' According to a recent article at Packaging Digest, it is simply a label that gives the consumer the impression that the product is wholesome, and provides ingredients consumers are familiar with. Today, consumers are looking for food, beverages, and other products that don't have long lists of ingredients that are unrecognizable to the average consumer. While many believe that consumers are the driver of the trend in clean food labeling, others say this trend is due at least in part to increased globalization of food distribution. When manufacturers attempt to market their products in other countries, they usually face fewer regulatory hurdles when food ingredients are uncomplicated. Which ingredients should be added or eliminated in order for consumers to perceive a label as clean? It all depends on the market the food manufacturer is targeting. For instance, body builders may look for ingredients lists containing proteins, while other consumers look for labels proclaiming their products are "free from allergens." Consumers looking for food that tastes great or that brings back memories of foods grandma used to prepare often look for ingredients such as milk powder or butter. So, how does all of this affect packaging changes? According to Claudia O'Donnell, co-owner of Global Food Forums and a career food scientist, clean labels drive changes in packaging a number of ways, including: Obviously, the copy on the packaging will change when a product is reformulated to contain different ingredients or when they make "all natural" or "allergen free" claims. In their efforts to become more transparent, packaging companies often create packages for their products that, like the labels, are cleaner, perhaps even having portions of the package that is actually see-through so consumers can actually view what they're buying. Packaging is hugely important as manufacturers try to become more open with consumers. Packaging systems are capable of protecting a product against rancidity, while some manufactures use antioxidants for the same purpose. Packaging becomes more important for certain products when the antioxidant preservative system is weak. Distribution/storage systems and temperatures also impact the type of packaging for products. Ultimately, consumers want a total packaging system, including labels, that is clean and indicates the company's efforts toward complete transparency and honesty with the consumer. At Markem-Imaje, we provide industrial coding and marking systems designed for use on all types of packaging, from plastic, films, and foils to glass, cartons, paper-based containers, and other substrates. For all of your industrial printing equipment needs, count on Markem-Imaje for unsurpassed solutions.

January 10, 2014
Markem-Imaje Announces Acquisition of CSAT

Markem-Imaje Announces Acquisition of CSAT
Back to top