The New Norm for Dietary Supplement Labeling?

The New Norm for Dietary Supplement Labels (?)

“All natural,” gluten-free, allergen-free, non-GMO, organic, sustainably sourced – arguably, almost every dietary supplement trend that’s made headlines over the last year can fit snuggly within the parameters of this “trend.” Why the quotation marks around ‘trend’? Because is looks like this particular movement may be here to stay. 

This isn’t the first time that we’ve taken a closer look at the “clean label” movement and given the way things are going it probably won’t be the last.

Recap: What are “clean label” supplements?

Like we mentioned during the last time that we covered “clean label” supplements, as of now there is no official (i.e. FDA-provided) definition for “clean label.” That being acknowledged, if after sifting through the larger discussion concerning “clean labeling” you can put together a definition that looks something like this:

“Clean Label” dietary supplements are those made with simple-to-understand and minimally processed ingredients. Typically, a “clean label” supplement will be free of synthetic ingredients or preservatives, GMOs, allergens and gluten.

Keeping all of this in mind, it’s the responsibility of brand owners and manufacturers to create supplement products that stay true to these guidelines.

“Clean Label”: What’s Trending

Unlike some of the other categories and topics we’ve viewed through the lens of Google Trends, US user interest in “clean label” has had a noticeably more gradual ascent over time. Take a look for yourself:

Clean Label Trend USA

As of March 2016, user interest in “clean label” (from web search standpoint, at least) was at an all-time high. Stepping outside of the world of Google, industry thought-leaders and consumers have continued to demonstrate increased interest in “clean label” for the long term.

Industry & Consumer Interest in “Clean Label” Supplements and Manufacturing

Since January 2016, top nutraceutical industry publications (including the likes of Nutraingredients-USA, Natural Products INSIDER, Nutritional Outlook, and FoodNavigator) have published dozens of pieces concerning the nature of “clean label” – from what “clean label” has meant for the industry in the past to what it may mean for the industry tomorrow.

So far as consumer interest is concerned, a recently released study from Innova Market Insights has pointed to some very interesting (and potentially massive) changes to how consumers are responding to “clean label” products.

Here are some of the highlights from what the Innova Market Insights team found:

  • In the United States, the number of supplements with one or more “clean label” statements is up nearly 28% – taking the total from 49% to 59%.
  • “Clean Label” supplements have been found to command a price that’s (on average) 15% higher than the price of their “non-clean” competitors.

When it comes to “clean label” it seems like the further we get into 2016, the more resources there are supporting their rising popularity and consistency. No matter which facts you choose to look at, it seems likely that – at least for the foreseeable future – the “clean label” trend is here to stay.

What do you think?

Is “clean labeling” the real deal or just a 2016 flash in the nutritional world’s pan? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below! (And links to additional sources are always welcome)

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