New Labels Are Forcing Change in What Consumers Purchase at the Grocery Store

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Just Mayo is just the beginning. Hampton Creek, a San Francisco based food company, is currently rolling out a combative and industry-defining outline for 2016 and beyond. They are doing it with gusto and determination, factors that have been commonplace in an industry that has always bucked against the cultural trends.

Organic was a fancy selling point in the early 2000’s. It was a word that ignited eye-rolls and groans, as a few early adopters and enthusiasts tried to stress where the current quality stock in food was. Only now, all of that seems ubiquitous. Seemingly everywhere, advertisements and companies and everyone in between are decrying mainstream food and boosting the quality of foods that meet the criteria of quality. Quality, in this sense, can often be relegated to three main things. These are often bullet-point labels displayed on organic products.

  • No artificial flavors
  • Whole grain
  • No GMO’s

There are some variations on these labels. Some will say “no trans fat,” which is another addition to food that is disastrous. The other is preservatives, which has enforced a major rallying cry in the public. It is also common to see “no high fructose corn syrup.” Unfortunately, this may often be an opportunity to replace the high fructose corn syrup with regular corn syrup. The difference is negligible.

People should be aware of what they are putting into their body, but the industry has not often been transparent in what that is exactly. This makes companies such as Hampton Creek all the more valuable. They are detailing what goes into the creation of their products, so there are few questions and no mysteries. Customers can know the answer.

The common comment heard is “an informed customer base.” Companies that are remaining transparent about their products want to inform the public. Unfortunately, it is this lack of information or even misleading information that results in things like GMO’s in mainstream produce sections, preservatives at record-high levels in lettuce and tomatoes, and, distressingly, record high cancer rates.

This is only the beginning of the discussion. Thankfully, customers are becoming quite knowledgeable about what is in food. They are taking action and demanding better. It is about time.