Demanding the Ding Dong Truth About Labels

One of the most memorable commercials from this year’s Super Bowl was an ad for Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans, featuring actor Jason Momoa. In one short minute, everything we thought we knew about Momoa was unmasked right before our eyes as he walked into his sanctuary and behind closed doors.

In an unnerving, visually unappealing twist, Momoa “removes” his muscular arms and torso, revealing a super skinny frame underneath, and if that wasn’t enough of a shocker, he then proceeds to pull off his long, lustrous head of hair unveiling a combover that left viewers speechless.

We’ve all been betrayed.

Ok, ok. I know. It’s just a commercial, but the feeling of shock followed by betrayal is similar to what consumers feel when they find out that their favorite product isn’t as “clean” as it appeared to be.

As a child of the 80s, Sloppy Joes from a can smothered with ketchup and pickles served on white bread might still be my kryptonite today. I loved running home from school and heating a can of Spaghetti-O’s, snacking on Ding Dongs and drinking Hawaiian Punch, but sadly, my children have never swished any of these around in their mouths.

Why? Because the feeling of betrayal is like a strong, unforgettable punch to the gut.

I still remember where I was when I first heard about the effects of a certain red ingredient on children. At first, I was skeptical and a bit naive, “Surely, there are guidelines in place to prevent the selling of harmful ingredients.” But my viewpoint changed when child number 3 came along. As soon as he consumes anything with this particular red ingredient, he immediately resembles Hammy from the movie, Over the Hedge.

And that’s not okay. Once I came to my senses and realized this one ingredient was the culprit behind the dramatic difference in his behavior, my research into food consumption began and the floodgates of betrayal were opened.

Everything I thought I knew about the food and dietary industry was wrong.

Consumers want to know that they can trust the manufacturers of their beloved dietary supplements and functional foods, and the best way to convey that trust is to be transparent with ingredients.

Clean labels build trust, expecting consumers to simply trust your label for what it says is like expecting a stranger to catch you in a trust fall.

They will not.

The clean label movement has increased in popularity as today’s consumers are the most informed and health-conscious of any previous generation. While there is no official definition of “clean label” requirements provided by the FDA, the most accepted description is that of products containing simple ingredients with no processing.

Having clearly labeled, easy-to-understand and a minimal number of ingredients help communicate to consumers that your brand has their best interests in mind. Yes, costs most likely will increase, but according to a study by PR agency Ingredient Communications, 73% of consumers are happy to pay a higher retail price for products with clean label ingredients.

Nena Dockery, Science and Regulatory Manager at Stratum Nutrition, breaks it down for us like this, “Demand for transparency and truth by consumers has challenged the Dietary Supplement and Functional Foods industries all the way from raw ingredient supplier to finished product marketer. Consumers who desire products with clean labels that are truthful and with an ingredient list that is easily understood are often willing to pay a premium for high-quality products.  

They want to be assured that if a product states that it contains “natural” ingredients, that it does and not a synthetic substitute cheaply made in a lab.  The end-consumer deserves to know what is in their products, and manufacturers and distributors need to know they can trust their ingredient suppliers to provide raw ingredients that are what they say they are.”

We do just that.

“Stratum Nutrition is committed to seeking out ingredients that meet the needs of the end-consumer who wants simple, clean foods and supplements that are both safe and efficacious. The ingredients supplied by Stratum can be easily incorporated by reputable manufacturers into environmentally-friendly, clean-labeled products for both human and veterinary use,” explained Dockery.

As consumers become more label-savvy, manufacturers who are proactive in being transparent, formulating with clean ingredients and building trust will benefit their bottom line.

We can help your brand do just that.

For more information on how to partner with an ingredient supplier you can trust, contact us here.