The term ‘diet’ on food labels has become increasingly unpopular over the years, with consumers drawn towards products for the ingredients they contain, rather than what they don’t contain. This was recently revealed at a virtual weight management conference, where 72 countries from across the globe participated.
Words like ‘zero’ and ‘smart’ are replacing terms like ‘low-calorie’ and ‘low-fat’ in labels, said Tom Vierhile, director of Datamonitor, US, who noted that the number of new products featuring the word ‘diet’ has plummeted in the last five years.
“Avoidance-type claims are becoming less popular,” Vierhile said. “There’s a big drop in the use of words like dieting and companies are using words like ‘zero’ which carry less baggage,” reported industry publication FoodNavigator-USA which hosted the webinar last week.
A protein shake for people with diabetes was used as an example of a successful product. Glucerna Hunger Smart Shakes have 15g of protein to manage hunger and are made with Carb Steady, slowly digestible carbohydrates that help minimise blood sugar spikes. The protein shake is sold on the principle of what the product can do for the consumer. The rising interest in functional foods that come with health claims is prompting companies to come up with products that pull double duty: satisfy taste buds and deliver a health benefit.