Trends 2018, Part IV: Quality Ingredients and Clean Labeling

Have you ever stood in the aisle of your local grocery store and checked every label? Read through every ingredient? Have you ever wondered how the food you buy gets from the farm to the market’s shelves to your table?

For a rising number of people, the answer to all of these questions is, “yes.” And as a result, there’s a growing interest worldwide in what’s known as “clean labeling,” which refers to the practice of removing artificial ingredients and replacing them with naturally derived goods.

It’s a trend that’s been emerging for some time now, and we suspect it’ll only gain greater traction as the calendar turns to 2018. Here’s what it all means.

Clean Labeling

It should come as no surprise who’s driving much of the “clean labeling” revolution: Millennials and Gen Xers now comprise the largest demographic blocks of the population; they’re starting families and having kids; and their purchasing power means that the food industry is looking to cater to their demands.

What do they want? Products with simple and recognizable ingredients. Products that contain sustainable ingredient sources.  Products that are nutritious, healthy, and high quality.

Of course, they also want food to continue to be affordable and available at a moment’s notice.

Quality Ingredients

As long as the interest in “clean labeling” continues, the food sector will follow and try to catch up. There are openings aplenty in the marketplace for innovative approaches to developing more naturally sourced additives. There’s room for deploying advanced technology to improve what’s in a product and to keep the cost down.

We have a wide swath of options and ingredients to choose from. And these are all just first steps on a longer journey. But we have every intention of keeping up with this trend, following its arc, and answering the call of our customers in 2018 and beyond.


John Agwunobi, M.D., MBA, MPH – Co-President and Chief Health & Nutrition Officer

John AgwunobiM.D., MBA, MPH – Co-President and Chief Health & Nutrition Officer

Dr. Agwunobi holds an MPH from Johns Hopkins and an MBA from Georgetown University. He completed his pediatric residency at Howard University and is currently a licensed physician in Florida and Maryland. In previous roles, he served as senior vice president and president of health and wellness for Walmart, as well as Assistant Secretary of Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.