Clean Label, Natural Foods Drawing More Attention from Consumers and Grocery Chains
4 August 2022
According to a new study out of the University of Edinburgh, children are more likely to prefer foods they believe to be natural compared to lab-grown options. These findings fall in line with a March 2022 poll, showing Americans have a "trust gap" over where their food comes from and are skewing towards more natural foods diets. One Gallup poll suggested the two most popular categories of selective food choices are "Locally Grown", and "Natural", showing a majority of consumers are willing to pay more for those two options in their cart. And the trend has not been ignored by major grocery chains, including Amazon.com's (NASDAQ: AMZN) subsidiary Whole Foods, as well as Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT) and Loblaws parent company George Weston Limited (TSX: WN) (OTCPK: WNGRF). Now the clean label ingredient market is forecasted to grow to US$51.14 billion globally by 2024, while potentially growing at a CAGR of +17.5% through to 2030, consumers are signalling they're willing to pay more for clean label products from food stocks such as newly-listed Pangea Natural Foods (CSE: PNGA) and Ingredion Incorporated (NYSE: INGR).
Producing foods specifically targeting these types of increasingly health-conscious consumers, recently-IPO'd Pangea Natural Foods (CSE: PNGA) has steadily grown a portfolio of healthier foods with recognizable green packaging hitting grocery aisles.
"Pangea Natural Foods has partnered with experienced food scientists to formulate its products, with a focus on delivering high quality food products to consumers," said CEO Pratap Sandhu. "We believe the key to the Company's growth will be providing consumers with very nutritious, satisfying foods with great taste and texture."
Sandhu founded Pangea in April 2021, then officially began public trading on the CSE on July 4, 2022 under the symbol PNGA. The company successfully raised $1.4 million in its seed financing round after announcing their flagship 'Plant-Based Patties' product, which are both nutritious and free of GMO ingredients, fillers, antibiotics, hormones, and bioengineered ingredients.
"Each vegan patty is handmade with rigorous standards, using locally sourced whole food ingredients such as: leeks, bell peppers, spinach, potatoes, black beans, carrots, chickpeas, mushrooms and breadcrumbs," added Sandhu. "Additionally, Pangea uses pea protein instead of soy protein in its formulation."
Shortly after having launched the plant-based patties, the company also unveiled its Pangea Old Fashioned Ghee.
"While ghee takes longer to make than other butters, ghee retains more vitamins and nutrients due to its low-heat preparation," says Sandhu. "Specifically, ghee is a source of vitamin E, vitamin A, antioxidants and other organic compounds."
Now Pangea products are already being sold across Canada in popular grocery stores with product listings with Save-On Foods, and most recently with popular George Weston Limited (TSX: WN) (OTC: WNGRF) subsidiary, Loblaw Companies Limited stores across British Columbia and Alberta, that include Loblaws and Superstore.
"This is yet another win for our team in line with our focused strategy of expanding our retail footprint," said Sandhu. "With Pangea Old Fashioned Ghee and Pangea Plant-Based Patties listed in multiple Loblaw's locations, we are excited to continue offering our products to consumers looking for healthy and delicious products."
Currently across Canada there are over 2,400 Loblaw Companies Limited stores, all while Pangea's plant-based patties are manufactured in the Vancouver lower mainland at an in-house facility approved by both the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Old Fashioned Ghee is grass-fed, organic, clarified butter sourced from New Zealand.
Research from Ingredion Incorporated (NYSE: INGR) revealed that around 71% consumers are willing to pay more for current brands that have been reformulated to make claimers around the naturalness of their ingredients. In fact, their research discovered that over 30% of consumers would be willing to pay a premium of more than 20%.
Recently, Ingredion debuted its citrus-based dietary fibres products, Fibertex CF 502 and Fibertex CF 102—the first in a range of citrus-based dietary fibre texturising capability to support the growing nutrition, health and wellness trend, as well as the accelerated demand for clean labels.
"We are excited to enhance our clean label offering to our customers," said Constantin Drapatz, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) senior marketing manager for Clean & Simple ingredients at Ingredion. "Fibertex CF citrus fibres will expand our ability to meet consumer needs and solve our customer's clean label challenges."
According to Ingredion, Fibertex CF citrus fibres contain more than 90% dietary fibre, "and their inherent functionality can replace ingredients such as fats, hydrocolloids and modified starches", which helps to reduce fat, sugar and calories in a range of applications.
Large retail chains such as Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT) and Loblaws parent company George Weston Limited (TSX:WN) (OTC: WNGRF) are following in the footsteps of Amazon.com's (NASDAQ: AMZN) (NEO: AMZN) subsidiary Whole Foods in facilitating the clean label movement.
As already mentioned, George Weston Limited (TSX: WN) (OTC: WNGRF) and its Loblaws Companies have signed on with Pangea Natural Foods, while also adding other clean label products, such as Yawdi's marinades, and frozen foods from Blender Bites.
"Loblaws has been a target account for us for many years as Canada's largest and highest volume chain of retailers," said Chelsie Hodge, Blender Bites CEO. "We are thrilled to see them choosing local Canadian brands to fill their shelves especially in the freezer category, which is incredibly limited in capacity."
Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT) recently added the toddler food brand Yumi to its stores nationwide. The Yumi brand was originally founded as a subscription-based direct-to-consumer brand delivering fresh baby food purées for busy parents, before expanding into adjacent areas of puffs, bites, and bars. Yumi received the Clean Label Project's Purity Award, which tests for over 400 contaminants including heavy metals and other toxins in baby food.
"Target has an incredible track record when it comes to bringing brands into retail and building them… which is why you see so many brands start at Target," said Yumi co-founder and President Evelyn Rusli to FoodNavigator-USA. "When you're going to Target, it's not just about picking up the essentials, it's learning about the latest and greatest in a new category."
Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) (NEO: AMZN) subsidiary Whole Foods just unveiled the retail debut of Nowadays' clean-label nuggets, announced the launch of No Evil Foods' clean-label beef-style strip, and witnessed two IFF Health ingredients gaining the distinction of the Upcycled Certified Program.
Both of the new products are plant-based meat alternatives. The Nowadays nuggets touts being made with just seven ingredients, including non-GMO yellow pea protein, and contain 120 calories, 13 grams of protein, 250 mg of no saturated fat per serving. The No Evil Foods strips feature a proprietary blend of grains and legumes to create functionally complete proteins, with upcycled ingredients and boasting 27g of protein, 14g of carbs and 3g of fat per serving.
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