2 In-Demand Labels You Should Be Leveraging To Grow Your Market

COVID-19 has upended a lot of what we do. Many of us are now working from home in our good Zoom shirts, while running a homeschool, ordering our groceries online and washing our hands a whole lot more. (Thank goodness!) And as consumers our product preferences have also changed due to the crisis – more of us are turning to plant-based and gluten-free foods.

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It’s a funny headline, but research is bearing out that yes, consumers are becoming more health conscious.

In a survey of 3,000 consumers in 15 countries, Accenture found that consumers are increasing their consumption of ethical products due to the COVID-19 crisis causing them to seriously consider the health and environmental impacts of their shopping choices.

Additionally, the study surmises that due to the scale of the changes identified in the findings this consumption change suggests a long-term shift expected to outlast the pandemic - stretching far beyond 18 months and possibly for the current decade.

More Are Choosing Plant-Based Foods

In addition, the Food Marketing Institute’s 2019 US Grocery Shopper Trends report found that 1/3 of US households have at least one member voluntarily following a vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian or flexitarian diet. This number is higher in Gen Z and Millennial households. This indicates we will probably see this number increase in the future.

In the past year, sales of plant-based foods jumped 20% in the past year to more than $3.3 billion. In Canada, 25% of consumers in 2016 stated that they try to limit the amount of red meat they eat; 8% identified as vegetarian or mostly vegetarian.

Consumer Interest In Plant-Based Surges During COVID-19 Pandemic

Google searches for gluten-free and plant-based increased significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic. The graph below shows that over the past 3 years gluten-free has a good level of consistent consumer interest -it’s a mainstream label at this point, but still saw increasing interest during the pandemic.

Meanwhile plant-based labels which 3 years ago was a newer idea to consumers is seeing explosive growth that is holding steady. Plant-based has now become a mainstream label.

This aligns with the consumer research saying interest in ethical consumption is here to stay. 

Plant-based and gluten-free are most often searched for by consumers in Canada, US, New Zealand, Australia and UK. And interesting, there’s lots of “plant-based” interest growing in Singapore and Hong Kong.

Popular Plant-Based and Gluten-Free Foods

Plant-based items people are searching for include: pizza, fast food, meals, meat and protein powders. Meanwhile gluten-free items people are searching for include: chicken nuggets, cinnamon rolls, raisins, bread, seasonings.

What is Plant-Based Food?

Plant-based foods are free from animal-derived ingredients, don’t intentionally contain materials of animal origin and are not necessarily vegan.

Why Go Plant-Based?

There are the three reasons why people decided to eat a plant-based diet: ethics and the environment, health and social media influence.

Ethics & Environment
  • Animal cruelty concerns
  • Reducing their carbon footprint
  • Intensive resources required for farming meat
  • Preventing health disease
  • Managing a healthy weight
Social Media Influence
  • Social media has helped raise awareness of the socially conscious reasons for going plant-based

BRCGS Plant-Based Global Standard

Certification to the BRCGS Plant-Based Global standard provides transparency, brand protection, risk mitigation, clear food labeling and an on-pack trademark. It is based on a comprehensive management system approach and provides a framework for manufacturers to assist them in the production of plant-based food. It includes operational criteria required to be in place to ensure that plant-based products are free of materials of animal origin.

This standard applies to the control of animal inputs in plant-based products, in the manufacture, processing and packing of:

  • processed foods, both own brand and customer branded
  • ingredients for use by food service companies, catering companies, and food manufacturers
  • pet foods (GFSI benchmarked schemes only)
  • natural health products

In many cases, the voluntary food labeling information that is provided can be confusing and uses terms that are not universally recognised.  The BRCGS Plant-Based Standard can help brand owners strike a balance between mandatory and voluntary food information in a way that offers the consumer confidence in the choices they want to make. The plant-based on-pack trademark empowers consumers to make informed choices quickly and easily and helps brands and products differentiate themselves in an increasingly crowded market.

BRCGS Plant-Based certification can be added on to your next BRCGS certification audit to save you time and money. Please email us at info@aibinternational.com to learn more.

The Gluten-Free Market

The global gluten-free product market size is projected to reach $43.65B in 2027 – a 9.2% Compound Annual Growth Rate with North America being the major consumer markets for gluten-free products with the largest revenue share of 40.61% in 2019. 

The consumer market for gluten-free products goes far beyond celiac disease today. One in every three consumers is actively avoiding or reducing gluten in their daily diet, which is driven by three different groups: those with celiac disease, those with gluten-sensitivity and those who choose a Gluten-Free lifestyle.

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in several grains such as Barley, Rye, Triticale, Wheat, Kamut and Oats. It can also be found in hybridized strains of these grains. While oats are naturally gluten-free, cross-contact typically happens during processing or transportation, which is why there are specially processed gluten-free oats are available in the market. 

Gluten is mainly responsible for the classic texture of the dough or a binding agent that helps foods maintain its shape.

BRCGS Gluten-Free Global Standard

The requirements for certification to the BRCGS Gluten-Free Global Standard include senior leadership commitment, prerequisite programs, HACCP principles, records, document control, validation, GFMS maintenance and reassessment, internal audits.

The program’s gluten controls review training, product development, supplier approval, labels, product specification, contamination control, work in progress, disposal of waste material, complaint handling and recalls.

BRCGS Gluten-Free certification can be added on to your next BRCGS certification audit to save you time and money. Please email us at info@aibinternational.com to learn more.

Siarl Siviyer Dixon

Siarl Siviyer DixonSiarl Siviyer Dixon is the BRCGS Certification Manager at AIB International Certification Services and oversees the Food Safety, Packaging, Storage & Distribution, Agents & Brokers, Plant-based and Gluten-free certification audits to BRC Global Standards.

A BRCGS Approved Training Provider with over 20 years of experience in the food and beverage industry, Siarl is has worked with companies around the globe to help them understand the requirements of these GFSI-benchmarked standards. 

Jessica Burke

Jessica BurkeJessica Burke is the Senior Technical Services Manager at BRCGS where she is responsible for the BRCGS Americas Technical Team. She is the technical specialist for the BRCGS Gluten-Free Certification Program and Plant-Based Global Standard.  She has over 18 years of experience that includes QA and food safety roles in food manufacturing.

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