Consumers embrace simplicity

July 14, 2010

The quest for getting back to basics with food is on the top of consumers’ minds, with the use of simple, wholesome ingredients with minimal processing a key area of interest. New data to be presented by Innova Market Insights at the IFT Food Expo in Chicago, Ill., shows that the marketing of new products as “like grandma made” and using “from the cupboard” ingredients is taking off alongside rising interest in “homemade” and “homestyle,” while momentum in “natural” and “preservative-free” marketing is continuing to gather pace.

Innova Market Insights tracked 987 new products using the words “simple,” “simplest,” or “simplicity” in 2009 compared to 467 in 2008. Use of the words “pure,” “purity,” or “purely” grew from 3,013 in 2008 to 5,705 in 2009. The researcher tracked 2,137 new U.S. products marketed as “natural” or “preservative free” in the first four months of 2010 (Jan.–April 2010), up slightly from the 2,052 products tracked in the corresponding period in 2009, and dramatically up from the 1,155 recorded in the Jan.–April 2008 period.

The rise of the simplicity trend has led Lay’s Classic Potato Chips to now feature the claim “made with these three simple ingredients and that’s it.” In June 2010, Mars Chocolate North America announced the nationwide availability of the Milky Way Brand Simply Caramel Bar, where the word “simply” is prominent. Meanwhile Pillsbury simply... cookies are being promoted as being “made with just the simple, wholesome ingredients you and your family know and love.”

“The simplicity trend creates a new challenge for the ingredients industry, as manufacturers look to shorten the length of ingredient labels,” said Lu Ann Williams, Head of Research at Innova Market Insights.

Press release