“Evolving Consumer Preferences”
Force Mega Food Corps to Clean Up – A Bit
Rima E. Laibow, MD
Bowing to continued consumer demand (aka “the Power of the Purse”) some of the world’s largest food corporations are making significant changes in widely sold foods. Mars, Campbell’s Soup, Kraft and other food giants have altered formulas to eliminate some artificial colors, flavors, food additives and, in s some cases, GMOs.
Consumer pressure, selective spending habits by consumers who buy more natural, or organic, products is the deciding factor for corporations, not worker, environmental or consumer health or safety.
That was evident in 2014 when Swiss international food mega corp Nestle removed GMOs from their baby food line in South Africa, but not from the USA.
Driving the changes to bring industrial food supply a little closer to real food rather than “PHUDE”, or PHAKE PHOOD, market research firm Packaged Facts projects that the retail market for natural and organic foods and beverages will grow by almost 70% between 2016 and 2021.
That makes it no surprise that big brands are rushing to overhaul products and portfolios to win over natural-leaning consumers. The challenge for the companies it to find natural or organic alternatives without negatively affecting their color, taste, texture, and shelf life.
- Campbell Soup plans to removed artificial colors and flavors from nearly all its North American products by the end of fiscal 2018.
- Mondelēz International has committed to remove artificial colors and flavors from many of its packaged food brands by 2020.
- ConAgra Foods’ Hunt brand introduced three new organic canned tomato products—diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato paste
- General Mills has made five of its top-selling Cheerios flavors gluten-free and is transitioning two others to gluten-free in fiscal 2017.
- Kellogg Co., a General Mills competitor, is working to eliminate artificial colors and flavors from its Fruit Loops, Apple Jacks, and other branded cereals by 2018.
- With little fanfare, Kraft Heinz quietly removed artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives from its flagship macaroni & cheese. They did such a good job that consumers did not notice the difference.
- The Hershey Co. has introduced Simply 5 Syrup, a chocolaty syrup made from only five simple ingredients—cocoa, water, pure cane sugar, organic invert cane syrup, and natural vanilla.
- Similarly, WhiteWave Foods’ International Delight brand launched Simply Pure, a new line of coffee creamers, made with skim milk, cream, cane sugar, and natural three flavors (vanilla, caramel, or hazelnut).
- Mars Inc. pledged to remove artificial colors from all its human food products over the next five years, as part of its commitment to meet evolving consumer preferences.
Industry is quite aware of this trend.
“It has been six years since the 2008 Great Recession and the economy is slowly rebuilding and finding GDP growth again. But growth has not returned to many consumer categories. Basic categories such as cold cereal (down 4%), frozen dinners (down 3.5%), carbonated beverages (down 4%) and soup (down 2.3%) are all showing fundamental changes in how and what consumers are buying. (IRI 52 wks ending June 15, 2014)… Food companies are caught in a portfolio dilemma. Their brands have been built around legacy products that are no longer as popular with today’s consumer. For most food companies a new focus on innovation is underway.”
When multiple mega corporations do our bidding, at their cost, it is only because we are using our Purse Power successfully. Health Freedom means controlling what goes into your body. It is getting a bit easier because of our determined and combined refusal to purchase unhealthy substances and ingest them.
My rule of thumb for whether something is safe to eat or not is the 3-Syllable Rule. If it has more than three syllables, it is not food, with the exception of watermelon.
Make sure you support your health and your freedom by joining the Natural Solutions Foundation at www.DrRimaTruthReports.com for ou