Food and drink manufacturers are going 'au naturel’, launching more new 'additive- and preservative-free' products than ever before.
Riding on the wave of interest in all things natural, latest research from the Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD) finds that this year one in every four (24%) new food and drink launch in the UK claimed to be 'additive- and preservative-free' (up from just 8% in 2004).
So far this year, almost 1000 new products that claim to contain no additives or preservatives have hit our supermarket shelves - considerably more than the 800 or so that were launched during the whole of 2006.
Director of Mintel GNPD Custom Solutions, David Jago, said, "Manufacturers are tapping into the nation's growing desire for a more natural lifestyle, as consumers take a greater interest in what really goes into their food.
"The assumption is that it is better for you to avoid additives and preservatives, as many Brits are concerned about the effect they may have on their health.
He added, “Many parents also worry about how some additives affect their children's behaviour.
In 2006, 'additive- and preservative-free' became the number one health claim in the food and drinks market, overtaking 'low fat' for the first time ever.
And this trend looks set to continue, as fewer than 400 new 'low fat' products have been launched so far this year – coming nowhere near the impressive number of new 'additive- and preservative-free' products that have come onto the market.
Jago explained, "Low fat is not going to go away, but people in the UK today are focusing much more on balanced nutrition and avoiding 'over-processed' foods.
“With food additives in the headlines once again, it is encouraging to see that companies' efforts in new product development are moving in the right direction.”
The number of new 'additive- and preservative-free' products launched in the UK actually doubled (101 per cent growth) between 2004 and 2006, rising from 400 to just over 800 during this two-year period.
Meanwhile, the number of new 'low fat' products rose a mere 5 per cent from 490 in 2004 to only around 500 in 2006.
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