Clean label has moved beyond product labels and consumers’ search for ingredients’ lists that are shorter and feature recognisable ingredients sourced from nature. Today, the movement encapsulates concepts that are not only good for body and mind, but also for society and the environment.
“It’s a highly complex topic,” but one into which Stéphanie Brillouet, marketing director of Délifrance, takes a deep dive.
According to the bakery manufacturer’s Prove It: Allergen Report, clean labelling is a huge factor for consumers when it comes to choosing what bakes to buy. In fact, the company found 61% of consumers indicated a willingness to purchase more products sporting their understanding of a clean label.
“In 2019, we launched our Go Clean journey, which is our commitment to our customers to deliver simpler recipe recipes and simpler ingredients,” said Brillouet.
“This means minimising additives and allergens in our products, while still delivering on quality, taste and texture.
“Our products contain no hydrogenated fats. We’re also focussed on limiting the levels of sugar and salt in our recipes, setting target thresholds for key products’ categories, as well as reducing artificial ingredients.”
Sustainability, too, is a key factor for Délifrance, which produces over two billion viennoiseries every year.
“Our sustainability strategy is very much linked to our clean label initiative and we’re always working to improve it through ingredient sourcing and selecting our raw materials with huge care.
“We’re already using 100% cage-free eggs (42% are free range); 100% CRC sustainable wheat in our Délifrance Héritage range of bread; and 99% of RSPO-certifies palm oil in Délifrance labelled products.”
Additionally, Brillouet said the manufacturer is focussed on defining a Policy on Responsible Purchasing for all its raw materials, and is collaborating with butter suppliers to reduce its carbon footprint and ensure animal welfare.
“We also continue to develop our plant-based offerings. We’ve recently launched a range of organic viennoiseries and bread, and a plain vegan and palm-oil free croissant.”
Délifrance’s additive classification
Délifrance has established its own classification by cross-referencing data from European regulations, collaborative databases on foodstuff and the commitments of its customers.
Added Brillouet, “Since 2021, we have concentrated on simplifying our ingredients lists across all product categories, removing certain additives that we class as ‘red’ and minimising the use of others classed by us as ‘orange’ additives.”
The inclusion of more natural foods and nutrients is just as important.
Research conducted in 2021 for Délifrance’s Prove It: A Bread Focus Report revealed almost a fifth (17%) of consumers surveyed want more vitamins or nutrients; 14% want more cereals, grains and dried fruits; and 14% want more digestible breads.
“So, by adding seed mixes and dried fruit to our recipes, we are able to bring additional health benefits, too,” said Brillouet.
Délifrance – founded in 1978 as part of the French grain cooperative VIVESCIA – operates 14 production facilities in France, Europe and Asia, producing bakery, viennoiserie, pastry and savoury products for customers (foodservice, bakers and retailers) in 100 countries around the world.