Additive Colors, Preservatives and Sweeteners Top Consumer Black List, Finds TNS Study

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08 Oct 2015 --- Tainted cooking oil in Asia, the horsemeat scandal in Europe or artificial colors that are under suspicion of causing hyperactivity in children – the flow of negative headlines relating to the food industry unsettles many people all over the world and leads them to scrutinise more closely what they put on their plate. In fact, certain ingredients highly affect the purchase decision of many consumers.

For a large number of people all around the world additives especially are of concern. At the top of their black list are preservatives as well as artificial colorants and sweeteners. 60 percent of all consumers worldwide avoid these ingredients when choosing food and drink products. This is the result of a recent global consumer study conducted by market research institute TNS on behalf of the GNT Group, leading global provider of Coloring Foods.

Click to EnlargeAccording to the TNS data, additives influence consumers most strongly when shopping for groceries. A low fat content is important for 53 percent of consumers, whereas 51 percent look out for products with low sugar. Other product characteristics like organic product qualities or fair trade are an issue for only 46 and 38 percent respectively. “The survey clearly shows that consumers worldwide explicitly examine the ingredients of food and beverages and factor them into their purchase decision”, says Dr. Hendrik Hoeck, Managing Director of GNT Group. “Food manufacturers should take this into account when developing products.”

Apart from these general findings, the GNT study also takes a closer look at different product categories. It demonstrates that the role ingredients play in the evaluation of food and beverages is dependent on the particular product. Four categories have received special attention: soft drinks, sweets, yoghurt and ice cream. The results reveal: yoghurt is the food category perceived as most natural. Two thirds of all respondents refuse additives in yogurts and wish for it to only contain natural ingredients. If these needs are not met, consumer trust can be affected.

However, with sweets and soft drinks, consumers assume – but don’t approve of – the use of artificial ingredients more often: more than half of the respondents think that these products usually contain synthetic additives. Nevertheless, more than one person in three would buy sweets, lemonade, ice cream and the like more frequently if they were made with natural ingredients only. “Certain products, like yoghurt, have to meet particularly high requirements today. For these products, natural ingredients like Coloring Foods – made exclusively from fruit, vegetables and edible plants by using gentle physical methods – are the ideal solution. At the same time, natural ingredients can offer true advantages in product categories that are generally perceived as less natural: they help manufacturers to stand out and create an additional incentive for today’s increasingly nutrition-conscious consumers”, says Dr. Hendrik Hoeck.

To contact our editorial team please email us at editorial@cnsmedia.com

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