Consumers Look to Subtract Food Additives

For 40% of consumers, the presence of additives in food is a growing concern, according to the June 2015 Consumer Food Trends Report from Technomic. They’re not only looking for wholesome nutrition and great flavor, but they also want it to come as naturally as possible.

Operators know this, too. Recent Technomic research indicates that 82% of operators believe clean labels will influence purchase decisions in the future. Smart brands are taking note, leveraging this trend to explore menu items that are less processed and contain fewer additives.

So operators, here’s what you can do to stay on top of this trend and prepare your menu for further shifts in consumer preferences.

  • “Clean” up your recipes – Across your menu, identify opportunities where you can choose an ingredient that is more natural or contains fewer additives, including artificial flavors, colors and dyes. Talk with your suppliers to learn how they can help you incorporate additive-free ingredients.
  • Be transparent – 52% of consumers would like restaurants to be more transparent about their food, according to the Consumer Connect 2015 report from Technomic. Make sure they can easily get accurate information about what ingredients, additives and preservatives are used across your menu.
  • Tell the story of your food – When possible, inform consumers about growing and prep methods, the origin of foods and sustainable practices used in your ingredient sourcing. Play to their cravings for genuineness with menu item descriptions featuring the following words: “natural,” “unprocessed,” “real,” “no artificial ingredients,” “fresh” and “local.” But, be authentic, and stay true to your brand and the food you offer.

​While additive-free food can be a differentiator today, it’ll be an industry standard tomorrow. The more you can keep your menu aligned with long-term trends like this, the more it can pay off for your bottom line and ensure the future of your business.