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Free-from Food Trends - US - May 2015

"Foods bearing a free-from claim appear increasingly relevant to consumers, even as those claims begin to cite relatively obscure ingredients. Free from food trends, in consumers’ eyes, are closely tied to health – whether their own, their family’s, or the planet’s."

This report looks at the following issues:

  • GMOs receive regulatory approval but consumer scorn
  • Cost impacts interest in free-from foods
  • Consumers expect controversial ingredients in snacks, frozen meals

More than three quarters of free-from purchasers seek free-from claims out of a desire for more natural/less-processed foods, and this interest is contributing to the surge in items free of GMOs (genetically modified organisms), high-fructose corn syrup, preservatives, and growth hormones. Relatively few consumers regard foods bearing a free-from claim as worth an extra cost, however, suggesting the prevailing opinion is that foods should be inherently natural and “real.”

Overall, consumers perceive foods with any free-from claim to be both healthier and less processed, thereby meeting two of the industry’s largest trends head-on. Furthermore, consumers appear to be equating genetic modification, artificial, and unhealthy as one and the same, and those consumers are likely to turn away from product labels with unfamiliar ingredients or ingredients perceived as chemically complex or unnatural. The interest in real food appears much more motivating even than the incorporation of healthy ingredients, particularly among Millennials and households with children. The challenge for manufacturers could be creating free-from products (particularly those that meet the demand for allergen-free) with cleaner ingredient legends.

 

 

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • The issues
          • GMOs receive regulatory approval but consumer scorn
            • Figure 1: Purchase of free-from foods, by Hispanic origin, February 2015
          • Cost impacts interest in free-from foods
            • Figure 2: Opinions of free-from claims, by generation, February 2015
          • Consumers expect controversial ingredients in snacks, frozen meals
            • Figure 3: Foods most likely to include potentially controversial ingredients, by age, February 2015
          • The opportunities
            • Health issues compel most free-from food purchasers
              • Figure 4: Importance of free-from food claims, February 2015
            • Artificial-free a selling point
              • Figure 5: Claims consumers would like to see more, by generation, February 2015
            • Millennial parents particularly interested in free-from claims
              • Figure 6: Reasons for purchase of free-from foods, by Millennial parents, February 2015
            • What it means
            • Key Players – What You Need to Know

              • GMOs finding regulatory favor but consumer backlash
                • Antibiotics prove not to be the cure
                  • Allergen awareness expands beyond gluten
                  • What’s Working?

                    • GMOs grow...and wane
                      • Brands reformulating to remove artificial ingredients
                        • Antibiotic use declines
                        • What’s Next?

                          • Consumers looking for details on all major allergens
                            • Casein-free tied to gluten-free
                            • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                              • Free-from claims and clean labels resonating with consumers
                                • Environmental impact’s role in product claims
                                  • Consumers expand their awareness of allergens
                                  • Clean Labels Capitalize on Interest in Less-processed Foods

                                    • Allergen-free claims prove popular with Millennials
                                        • Figure 7: Purchase of foods/drinks with any free-from claim, for any household member, by age
                                        • Figure 8: Food launches by claim, 2010-14
                                    • Cleaner Label Related to Healthy Perception

                                      • Cost impacts interest in free-from foods
                                        • Figure 9: Opinions of free-from claims, Any agree, by generation, February 2015
                                    • Health Issues Compel Most Free-from Food Purchasers

                                      • Health issues may be personal or environmental
                                        • Figure 10: Importance of free-from food claims, February 2015
                                        • Figure 11: Importance of free-from food claims, any top five ranking, by age, February 2015
                                    • Allergen-free of Most Interest to Younger Consumers

                                      • Soy not the protein alternative of choice for Millennials
                                          • Figure 12: Purchase of free-from foods for any household member, by age, February 2015
                                      • Free-from Equates with Health

                                        • Millennial parents particularly interested in free-from claims
                                          • Figure 13: Reasons for purchase of free-from foods, by Millennial parents, February 2015
                                          • Figure 14: Reasons for purchase of free-from foods, by Millennial parents, February 2015
                                      • Emerging Free-from Claims

                                        • Claims with relatively few followers can have an impact
                                          • Figure 15: Claims consumers would like to see more, by presence/age of children in household, February 2015
                                      • Expectations Translating into Introductions

                                        • Consumer expectations appear to be impacting free-from introductions
                                          • Figure 16: Foods most likely to include potentially controversial ingredients, by gender, February 2015
                                          • Figure 17: New food products introduced in 2014 featuring free-from claims, by category
                                      • Artificial-free a Selling Point

                                        • Consumers equate cleaner labels with natural
                                          • Figure 18: Claims consumers would like to see more, by generation, February 2015
                                          • Figure 19: Claims consumers would like to see more, By household income, February 2015
                                      • Consumers Expect Controversial Ingredients in Snacks, Frozen Meals

                                        • Further regulatory approval for GMOs could dramatically change the perception of many food categories
                                            • Figure 20: Foods most likely to include potentially controversial ingredients, by age, February 2015
                                        • Sesame, Casein Emerging Among Younger Consumers

                                          • Allergens beyond gluten and soy gain prominence
                                              • Figure 21: Claims consumers would like to see more, by presence/age of children in household, February 2015
                                              • Figure 22: Claims consumers would like to see more, by generation, February 2015
                                          • Consumer Segmentation

                                              • Figure 23: Consumers of foods with free-from claims, February 2015
                                            • Group one: Clean consumers
                                              • Opportunities
                                                  • Figure 24: Opinions of free-from food claims, by target groups, February 2015
                                                • Group two: Distrusting doubters
                                                  • Opportunities
                                                      • Figure 25: Opinions of free-from food claims, by target groups, February 2015
                                                    • Group three: Eyes on the price
                                                      • Opportunities
                                                          • Figure 26: Opinions of free-from food claims, by target groups, February 2015
                                                        • Group four: Status quo stickers
                                                          • Opportunities
                                                              • Figure 27: Opinions of free-from food claims, by target groups, February 2015
                                                          • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                            • Data sources
                                                              • Consumer survey data
                                                                • Consumer qualitative research
                                                                  • Sales data
                                                                    • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                      • Abbreviations
                                                                        • Terms
                                                                        • Market

                                                                          • Sales of milk/cream/buttermilk with free-from/organic claims
                                                                            • Figure 28: Sales* of milk and creams/buttermilk with hormone free/not administered claim, by type, rolling 52-weeks ending 2/24/13 and 2/22/15
                                                                            • Figure 29: Sales* of milk and creams/buttermilk with hormone free/not administered claim, by retail channel, rolling 52-weeks ending 2/24/13 and 2/22/15
                                                                            • Figure 30: Sales* of milk and creams/buttermilk, with antibiotic free/not added claim, by type, rolling 52-weeks ending 2/24/13 and 2/22/15
                                                                            • Figure 31: Sales* of milk and creams/buttermilk, with antibiotic free/not added claim, by retail channel, rolling 52-weeks ending 2/24/13 and 2/22/15
                                                                            • Figure 32: Sales* of milk and creams/buttermilk labeled lactose free, by type, rolling 52-weeks ending 2/24/13 and 2/22/15
                                                                            • Figure 33: Sales* of milk and creams/buttermilk labeled lactose free, by retail channel, rolling 52-weeks ending 2/24/13 and 2/22/15
                                                                            • Figure 34: Sales* of non-GMO project verified milk and creams/buttermilk, by type, rolling 52-weeks ending 2/24/13 and 2/22/15
                                                                            • Figure 35: Sales* of non-GMO project verified milk and creams/buttermilk, by retail channel, rolling 52-weeks ending 2/24/13 and 2/22/15
                                                                            • Figure 36: Sales* of organic dairy milk and creams/buttermilk, by type, rolling 52-weeks ending 2/24/13 and 2/22/15
                                                                            • Figure 37: Sales* of organic dairy milk and creams/buttermilk, by retail channel, rolling 52-weeks ending 2/24/13 and 2/22/15
                                                                          • Sales of cheese with free-from/organic claims
                                                                            • Figure 38: Sales* of cheese with hormone free/not administered claim, by type, rolling 52-weeks ending 2/24/13 and 2/22/15
                                                                            • Figure 39: Sales* of cheese with antibiotic free/not added claim, by retail channel, rolling 52-weeks ending 2/24/13 and 2/22/15
                                                                            • Figure 40: Sales* of cheese with antibiotic free/not added claim, by type, rolling 52-weeks ending 2/24/13 and 2/22/15
                                                                            • Figure 41: Sales* of cheese with hormone free/not administered claim, by retail channel, rolling 52-weeks ending 2/24/13 and 2/22/15
                                                                            • Figure 42: Sales* of cheese and cheese alternatives labeled lactose free, by type, rolling 52-weeks ending 2/24/13 and 2/22/15
                                                                            • Figure 43: Sales* of cheese and cheese alternatives labeled lactose free, by retail channel, rolling 52-weeks ending 2/24/13 and 2/22/15
                                                                            • Figure 44: Sales* of non-GMO project verified cheese and cheese alternatives, by type, rolling 52-weeks ending 2/24/13 and 2/22/15
                                                                            • Figure 45: Sales* of non-GMO project verified cheese and cheese alternatives, by retail channel, rolling 52-weeks ending 2/24/13 and 2/22/15
                                                                            • Figure 46: Sales* of organic** cheese, by type, rolling 52-weeks ending 2/24/13 and 2/22/15
                                                                            • Figure 47: Sales* of organic cheese, by retail channel, rolling 52-weeks ending 2/24/13 and 2/22/15
                                                                          • Sales of candy with free-from/organic claims
                                                                            • Figure 48: Sales* of non-GMO project verified candy, by type, rolling 52-weeks ending 2/24/13 and 2/22/15
                                                                            • Figure 49: Sales* of non-GMO project verified candy, by type, rolling 52-weeks ending 2/24/13 and 2/22/15
                                                                            • Figure 50: Sales* of organic candy, by type, rolling 52-weeks ending 2/24/13 and 2/22/15
                                                                            • Figure 51: Sales* of organic candy, by retail channel, rolling 52-weeks ending 2/24/13 and 2/22/15

                                                                        Companies Covered

                                                                        • Walmart Stores (USA)

                                                                        Free-from Food Trends - US - May 2015

                                                                        US $3,995.00 (Excl.Tax)