Apio, Inc. Announces New Initiative, "100% Clean Label" for Salad Kits and Trays
GUADALUPE, CA – Health-conscious consumers are driving demand for fresh foods and propelling the clean food movement forward, and Apio, Inc. has responded. The company has announced plans to make all of its products, both in the U.S. and in Canada under the Eat Smart® brand, “100% Clean Label” by the end of 2018.
So, what constitutes a clean label?
“Apio’s definition is simple. All Eat Smart products will be free from high fructose corn syrup, artificial preservatives, hydrogenated fats, as well as artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners by the end of next year,” said Molly Hemmeter, CEO, in a company press release. “Clean labeling is an important part of this initiative. Our easy-to-understand labels will list recognizable ingredients that consumers can feel good about putting in their bodies and serving to their families.”
Nearly 90 percent of the company’s current offerings already fit the bill—including the company’s cut vegetable products, salad blends, and its popular nutrient-dense vegetable salad kits—available in Sweet Kale, Strawberry Harvest, and Sunflower Kale. The company’s latest initiative is primarily focused on reformulating salad dressings, toppings, and dips sourced from independent suppliers to ensure the entirety of each kit complies with the “100% Clean Label” initiative.
According to the company’s press release, Apio expects the clean food trend to become increasingly important across all categories. Estimated North American sales of clean label products in 2015 were $62 billion, and roughly 62% of consumers globally report that they try to avoid artificial preservatives, flavors, and colors in their food.
“Many consumers keep on top of healthy eating trends. Our research identified consumers of value-added vegetables and salads in the U.S. and Canada, who represent 62% of the population and spend $7 billion annually in the value-added produce category,” noted Hemmeter. “They are willing to pay a premium for differentiated products and are loyal, high-value shoppers. Eat Smart’s 100% Clean Label initiative will attract these buyers to retail stores and drive repeat visits.”
The North American salad kit category stands at roughly $2.1 billion—including both retail and club stores. And though salad consumers are health-conscious, less than two percent of salad kits are sold as organic due to the sheer number and complexity of ingredients in many kits. By offering clean label salad kits and trays, Eat Smart hopes to give consumers piece of mind—and another healthy option for realizing their personal wellness goals.
“Eat Smart is committed to innovating delicious and convenient ways to eat healthy, and Apio’s 100% Clean Label initiative is the latest example of our commitment to consumers and to our retail partners,” said Hemmeter. “We intend to lead the industry and ensure that our products deliver maximum nutritional benefits. We’re excited to be at the forefront of a trend that we believe will become a mainstream standard.”
More information about Apio’s “100% Clean Label” initiative can be found at www.eatsmart.net. Eat Smart products are available in more than 100 club and retail chains throughout North America.