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Ingredients firms should battle to bust consumer myths: Innova

Food and drink ingredients makers should do more to fight bad science and misinformed consumer opinion, a leading trends analyst has claimed.

Ingredients companies should “re-assess” the way they communicate to see whether they can individually or collectively provide fact-based information to the market, said Özden Kilic, market analyst manager at Innova Market Insights.

Speaking to at Health Ingredients Europe (HiE), held in Frankfurt recently, Kilic suggested transparency was key to overcoming many of the myths about food being circulated on the internet and in social media.

“Other than stevia, which has received a great deal of promotion from large companies highlighting that it comes from a natural plant, I can’t think of many examples of ingredients that have been clearly explained to the consumer,” he said.

“I definitely think it’s an approach worth considering, in some cases. Otherwise, the industry finds itself in defence mode. In contrast, providing the right science-based data should be enough for consumers to make a decision as to whether the product is harmful for them or not,” Kilic added.

The internet was making consumer opinion more important than ever, Kilic claimed, and food firms were responding accordingly.

“Twenty years ago, consumers would base their decisions on sources such as education, government leaflets, or the information they would find on product packaging.

“Now, everyone has access to information, and it’s not controlled. Any consumer who is worried about the use of an artificial ingredient can go online and read material they believe to is correct.”

McDonald’s was an example of a company showing greater transparency to overcome a negative consumer perception, Kilic claimed….. Read the full article

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