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Consumers in Germany and France are more likely to respond to positive clean label terminology on food products than ‘free-from’ claims that are popular in the UK, according to 

The report says National Starch Food Innovation (NSFI) has been conducting research into how labelling on the front- and back- of food packs affects consumer behaviour for a number of years. In 2007 it delved into the meaning of clean label for consumers in the UK, Germany and the US, and this year followed up in Germany and included a French arm for the first time. 

Laura Goodbrand, NSFI marketing manager wholesome ingredients was quoted saying: “What we found particularly interesting was that German and French consumers respond much better to positive pack claims such as ‘natural’, ‘organic’, ‘clean label’ or ‘made with natural ingredients’ than negative claims, which are popular in the UK such as ‘free-from additives’ or ‘without e-numbers’.” 

The findings will be helpful to food marketers looking to attract a pan-European consumer base for their products. While the UK is widely recognised as leading the way in clean label formulation, as well as reformulation on healthier lines, other EU member states have adopted parallel strategies. 

The National Starch team also observed that German and French consumers were more likely to accept the presence of additives in indulgent products or highly processed foods than in every day goods, such as sauces, dairy products and beverages. 

The research involved eight moderated focus groups involving 6 to 8 women, grouped by age – either 25-45 or 45-65. 

Mike Croghan, global director wholesome ingredients, said one overall message was clear: “If consumers had the choice, additives ad preservatives would be out and natural or unprocessed ingredients would be in”.  – Source FoodNavigator


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