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The Clean Label Movement

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As Consumers today, we have become more aware of the foods that we are consuming and what products we are putting into our body. Consumers have become more concerned about the impact of what they eat and drink. Majority of food on the shelves at a supermarket contain, processed or artificial ingredients, whether it be a salad with dressing or a burger and chips. Consumers may have the idea that they are consuming a healthy and nutritious meal, while they are actually filling their body with preservatives, which have been made unclear on the label.

In the following report, I will be tackling the topic of the “clean label movement”. I will be discussing the definition of the “clean label” movement and its affects on consumers and manufacturers whilst also unpacking The food labeling act and labeling laws in relation to “The Clean Label Movement”. I am searching for the effect of “The Clean Label Movement” and labelling laws, in order to discover this in the most effective way, I have interviewed the manager of a local retailer.Attached to this report, is a questionnaire that has been completed by the manager of a Avolands. The survey includes a detailed description of the effect of the “clean label movement” on the company. The report will provide my findings on the main points of the Food Labeling law in SA, while compiling a list of common additives used in foods. After gathering all the information provided in the report I have drawn conclusions on the topic of “the clean label movement” and its effects along with the Food Labeling Law in SA. I have summarised my findings on the entirety of the situation in South Africa.

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The clean Label movement

“The clean label” is a movement driven by consumers, who demand natural food and drinks and simple food labeling. Consumers insist on having “real foods” available to them, food that includes simple, understandable and recognizable ingredients and nothing artificial.

“Clean foods” are:

  • free of all petrochemicals
  • not produced synthetically
  • not exposed to irriadiation
  • not genetically engineered and do not contain genetically modified organisms.

“The clean Label movement” will have an effect on society at large, however the main grops of people affected, are consumers and manufacturers.

Consumers will be affected, as they will have nutritious food available to them, without having to worry about additives that may affect the quality, texture, taste, and appearance of the food as well as the nutritional value. This movement may have a negative affect on certain consumer groups, as it will increase the price of food products, due to natural ingredients being more expensive than preservatives and agents added to enhance food.

The clean label movement will affect consumers positively as it will meet their desire of simplicity. In the long run, they will be purchasing and consuming foods with nutritional value and lack of chemicals, benefiting their health and reducing the risk of illness long term.

Manufacturers will be affected, as the movement will impact and guide industries. Consumers will have high expectations, insisting manufacturers to comply with the movement and be mindful of producing clean, organic and nutritious foods. Manufacturing companies will have to increase their prices, as natural ingredients are grown, harvested, raised and processed in an ecological manner, making the job of manufacturing more complicated and of a high, healthier and costly standard, expenses will increase due to the fluctuation in the price of raw ingredients, expensive processes and the environmental cost of minimizing waste.

The manufacturers will also face the challenge of adapting their products to meet the demands of the consumer, while still producing affordable food that creates a profit for the company. Consumers will expect more transparency of what they are consuming, manufacturers need to satisfy their customers.

The packaging manufacturers will also face the great difficulty of adapting and changing the labels and packaging on their products, ensuring they meet the requirements of the movement along with the Food Labeling Act.

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