Clean Eating – Fact or Fad?

Wednesday, October 12th, 2016

The term “clean eating” has been around for years but increased traction and buzz beginning in 2015 as the social media community grew louder and demanding. Even the Mayo Clinic nutrition blog weighed-in this summer recognizing that while it’s basically a “diet – just a way of eating,” clean eating is also “a beneficial lifestyle for improved health and well being.”

Clean Eating Magazine defines eating clean as “consuming food the way nature delivered it, or as close to it as possible. It is not a diet: it’s a lifestyle approach to food and its preparation, leading to an improved life – one meal at a time.”

The “farm to table” movement, a central focus, sees hot new restaurants open daily under the farm to table banner. Organic, sustainable, non-GMO, EFAs, reduced carbon footprint (eat local and seasonal), humanely raised and ocean-friendly, all are terms defining “clean” in relation to food choices.

2015 saw brand icons announcing significant product changes – particularly related to GMOs and artificial flavors, colors and preservatives. Cheerios eliminated GMO cornstarch and sugar while parent General Mills committed to eliminating artificial flavors and colors. Sargento advertises “Real Cheese, Real People.” Nestle’s is taking artificial colors and flavors out of more than 250 brands, and Hershey has gone further eliminating GMOs, high fructose corn syrup and milk from cows treated with hormones.

Even our favorite restaurants are promoting “Clean.” Panera has published their “No No List” of artificial ingredients currently not in their food or soon to be eliminated. Their website’s “Clean food journey” page proclaims “If you can’t pronounce it, you shouldn’t eat it.” McDonald’s reformulated Chicken McNuggets to be cuts of all-white meat lacking certain antibiotics. Chipotle, Subway, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut are all on the Clean bandwagon.

Clean Eating Magazine’s Clean Choice Awards for 2016 recognized 140 products in 20 categories including household and pet products in addition to food and beverage categories. And if that’s not enough to convey the power and momentum of the Clean Eating movement, a quick search on Amazon resulted in close to 7000 books.

You’ll be hearing a lot more from JSH&A as we get on the Clean train. As a lifestyle agency, we understand the importance and the power of the Clean label and will be working closely with our clients to help tell their stories.

If you have a Clean message you need to communicate to your consumers, give us a call. Our experts are eager to help you get the word out.