Abundant possibilities for clean label in Asia

December 15, 2017
3 min read

Opportunities exist for clean label to boom in Asia as brands need to meet consumers’ demands for clean, simple, and safe products. Indeed, Mintel research reveals that over half of metro Indonesian consumers choose and purchase products with natural attributes (eg natural claims/naturalness), while over two in five Chinese consumers look for products with safety symbols and certifications on food labels for food safety assurances.

Free-from claims are increasing in Asia Pacific; in the five years to October 2017, launches of food and drink products with free-from claims increased the most, followed by ethical/environmental claims, according to Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD). The growth of free-from claims in Asia Pacific is primarily driven by hot beverage and dairy categories. Claims as such echo the clean and natural image that today’s savvy consumers are seeking.

Brands are beginning to respond to consumers’ desires for clean label products by positioning products with free-from, ethical and environmental, and natural claims. They put in place measures such as ingredient testing, tighter food safety management systems, and traceable food supply chains to reassure consumers.

Products with ‘clean label’ claims in Asia Pacific

Kiki noodles

Clean instant noodles

KiKi Restaurant Sichuan Pepper Spicy Instant Noodles from Taiwan is a handmade noodle which has undergone a natural sun-drying process and is free of preservatives. It’s said to provide the simple pleasure and uncomplicated flavour of naturally dressed noodles.



Jongga Achime On Jeonju Bean Sprouts from South Korea is traditionally grown using only Jeonju city-certified, 100% premium Korean soybeans and water without any pesticides or growth hormones.

Nature Organic

Pure and whole

Nature Organic The Fine Food Co. Organic, GMO-Free, Whole-Food Wheat Flakes is a product from India. The brand works closely with farmers across India to support organic, superior-tasting foods that contain nutrients from soil while being contaminant free.

Food logos and safety standards find harmony in ASEAN countries

In an effort to encourage consumers to adopt healthier eating habits and lifestyles, and as a result, curb the increasing burden of diseases in the region, Southeast Asian countries are starting to take action through government policies and health promotions.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is making a conscientious effort to increase and harmonise food safety standards and the labeling scheme (eg logos and symbols) across member countries including Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand.

Manufacturers should embrace the challenge to start making developments towards the new labeling schemes and regulations which would give their products overall quality and credibility while also establishing consumer trust.

Harmonisation of logos and symbols would resonate well in Asia as Mintel research shows that consumers find such labels informative, important, and trustworthy.

Brands should explore new product innovations through raw/minimally processed methods that are not just free-from but also have natural, ethical, and environmentally friendly positioning. As well, they should incorporate logos and standards that support healthier consumption and lifestyles. Products will need to meet Asian consumers’ demand for clean label products as well as comply with the newly implemented logos and regulations for clean label to grow and for consumers to benefit from these changes.

Based in Singapore, Michelle is a Global Food Science and Nutrition Analyst at Mintel. She specialises in food science and ingredients, with a focus on nutrition. Prior to Mintel, most of her career was in the field of nutrition and dietetics concentrating on food service, clinical nutrition, health and wellness program management, nutrition research and marketing. She’s a licensed Nutritionist-Dietitian in the Philippines and an Accredited Nutritionist in Singapore.

Michelle Teodoro
Michelle Teodoro

Michelle is Mintel’s Global Food Science Analyst based in Singapore. She specialises in food science and ingredients, with a focus on nutrition.

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