Food Product Health Claims: What the Consumer Really Wants to See

By now, you might have heard of the clean labeling movement, a consumer trend that is sweeping the CPG industry. In a nutshell: Consumers are demanding more out of the products at their local grocery store shelves. They’re looking for simpler ingredients, shorter ingredient lists and packaged goods that are good for their health. Because of this movement, the food product health claims made on the front of packaging have become just as important as the nutrition panel and ingredient statement on the back.

Consumers are making purchase decisions based upon food product health claims made on product packaging. Do you know what benefits they’re searching for?

What Consumers Want

In a survey of over 7,000 participants conducted on clean labeling and food product health claims, consumers made it clear that nutrition information and claims made on food product packaging dictate their purchase decisions. The results were fascinating and we couldn’t help but see an emerging trend which meant we had to share this data with you asap! Based on the survey, these are the claims that consumers are searching for on product packaging:

Food, Beverage & Health Claims on Food Products/ Survey Participant %

Protein – 39%

Low Sugar/No Sugar – 37%

Natural – 36%

No artificial flavors, preservatives, sweeteners or fillers- 35%

Vitamins- 35%

Low-Sodium/No Sodium- 30%

Whole-Grain/High-Fiber/Prebiotics – 30%

Organic- 28%

Clean- 27%

Non-GMO- 27%

Low Fat/No Fat- 27%

Locally Grown- 26%

No Cholesterol- 23%

Minerals- 22%

Omega-3 – 21%

Probiotic- 20%

Health Claims, Specific Health Condition- 19%

Plant-Based Protein- 15%

No Allergens – 14%

Lactose-Free- 13%

When asked the question: “What Does ‘Better For You’ Mean?” 48% of participants were looking for products that improved their health or were at least “healthier” for them.

Food Product Health Claims by Generation

To take it a step further, this in-depth survey went on to categorize by target audience/generation. At LabelCalc, we’ve done several articles on how Millennials are changing the way that food is grown, produced, and purchased. So the key terms associated with the generation with the most buying power were definitely of interest.

The Millennial group was particularly interested in these food product health claims:

  • lactose free
  • plant-based proteins
  • protein (in general)
  • minerals

While the younger Gen Z group took things a step further with all things plant-based looking for the additional “vegan” claim. When observing the buying trends of these consumer categories, you can begin to see where the manufacturer will have to continue to pivot.

Elements Impacting Consumer Food & Beverage Purchases

We aren’t even going to dance around this data or build up a single thread of anticipation about this: 56% of consumers are reading the information presented on your nutrition facts panel and taking that into consideration before purchasing. 

We know, we do labels. We love labels. We love doing your labels. But this data brings us past personal bias and straight into good business practice. How so? By making sure that your nutrition information is accurate and we’re always bringing you the latest information to ensure that your labels are on trend. Who knew that could be a thing? (We did, we knew.)

The nutrition label is the number one component in making your product retail ready. But it must be accurate.

When it comes to food product health claims, the number one priority is to have quality ingredients with the right information on your packaging. How does your product hold up? Need some assistance? Contact us today to review your nutrition panels and see how you can get the most out of your product packaging.

What is LabelCalc?

LabelCalcⓇ is one of FoodCalc LLC’s two nutrition analysis products, created to help meet the needs of the food industry. Based in San Francisco, CA, we are a nationally recognized provider of online nutrition analysis that is fast, accurate, and FDA-compliant.

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