As health concerns climb up the consumer agenda globally, manufacturers have been quick to respond with new products to meet demand. But when it comes to those products carrying "no additives / preservatives"claims, it seems India is leading the way as new research from Mintel reveals India is in the first place in Asia-Pacific for products carrying "no additives / preservatives" claims in the food and drink category - today accounting for 18% of NPD in APAC in this category.
According to a press release, indeed, across the region, new food and drink products in India carrying the "no additives / preservatives" claims are up from 14% in 2008 to 18% in 2011 - and already in 2012, they account for 16% of the overall food and drink market. In food alone, products carrying "no additive / preservatives" claims have risen from 14% to 17% of total new food product launches, whilst in drink they have increased from 13% to 15% in just three years.
This compares to the second-largest market in APAC for "no additives / preservatives" claims - Australia at 15%. The third-largest, Thailand accounted for 13% of the market in 2011 and China for 12%. Meanwhile, the next countries in the region in the top five, New Zealand and Taiwan trail behind at 6% respectively.
Deepa Dsouza, trend and innovation consultant, India, Mintel, said: "Health claims are growing in importance for the Indian consumer - and consumers are now much more aware about the ingredients in the food and drink products they choose and the benefits of choosing healthy. The primary driver for the increase in these claims in India is the consumer perception of added additives or preservatives in food being considered unsafe and concerns about food safety and long term toxicity of these chemicals on their future health."
"A few years back the growing processed food industries - especially fruit products and the juice industry - triggered the growth of additives and preservatives use in India, more to offer convenience to the Indian consumer. However, increased consumer awareness and government interventions to make cleaner and healthier products have compelled food manufacturers - not just the big multinationals but also the smaller local players - to adopt "no additives / preservatives" claims."
And it is not just additives and preservatives making an impact on the agenda of Indian food and drink manufacturers.
Organic claims have also shown strong growth from 1% in 2008 to 2% in 2011 and already 3.4% in 2012. Furthermore, antioxidant claims in food and drink NPD have grown from 1% in 2008 to 2% in 2011 and 3% in 2012, bone health claims from 0.26% in 2008 to 1% in 2011 and 2% in 2012, and cardiovascular claims from 1% in 2008 to 3% in 2011 and 3% in 2012. Free From claims are also increasing with food and drink NPD with gluten-free claims rising from 1% in 2008 to 2% in 2011 and 2012 and GMO-free from 0.5% in 2008 to 1% in 2011 and 2% in 2012.
In 2011, India sat in 5th place globally in 2011 with 5% of the global market food and drink NPD for "no additives / preservatives" claims, ranking just after the UK with 13% of the market for the same year in 2011, USA with 12%. Its position is a marked change from previous years, as in 2008, India ranked in 13th place, with 2% of the market. Furthermore, it has already exceeded its 2011 position, currently ranking 4th with 5.5% in 2012.