Manufacturers 'removing ingredients from labels'

03rd January 2014 - Fine Cut

An increasing number of food manufacturers are changing the ingredients they add to certain foods in order to make them appeal to health-minded individuals.

More consumers than ever before are paying close attention to the foods they eat - something that has spurred companies to amend the way they label items.

Food and beverage firms are learning that the inclusion of unfamiliar and potentially unhealthy ingredients on products can invite criticism from shoppers. In fact, some big brands have reformulated top-selling products to remove mysterious components that could come under fire from consumers.

Pepsi was just one of the companies to do so. Last year, the drinks manufacturer said it would stop using brominated vegetable oil in Gatorade and find another way to evenly distribute colour in the beverage.

In addition, Starbucks vowed to stop using a red dye made of crushed insects based on criticism it had received through several means, including an online petition.

Ali Dibadj, a Bernstein analyst who covers the packaged food and beverage industry, said: "It used to be that people would just decide not to buy the product. Now they’re actually agitating for change.

"There’s a bullhorn - which is the internet - so you can get a lot of people involved very quickly."

Suggestions over consumers' doubts have also been recorded across the globe, with new research claiming that nearly 80 per cent of people in Taiwan do not trust ingredient labels on food.

What's more, a similar majority have little faith in the government's management of food safety.

Research carried out by Global Views Monthly found that 78.7 per cent of respondents do not trust officials' capabilities in managing food safety, compared with just 15.1 per cent who have faith in the authorities.

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