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Europe: Food manufacturers reformulate products as consumers avoid certain foods, finds report

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Food avoidance has become a way of life for tens of millions of consumers in the US, according to Research and Markets’ new report Food Formulation Trends: Ingredients Consumers Avoid.

For consumers with allergies and intolerances, avoiding certain food and ingredients is a matter of life and death.

For other consumers, avoiding various foods is a matter of choice based on a desire to lose weight or to have an overall healthier life.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are more people with allergies.

In addition, many sources suggest that the number of people choosing to avoid some ingredients, such as gluten, is also increasing.

Many of these consumers have no specific illness but are reacting to a barrage of messages received through social media, online, and traditional media sources suggesting that some ingredients are a health threat to the general populace, besides a small group of people who have been diagnosed with an allergy, intolerance, or sensitivity.

Industry reacts with reformulated, new products

Food manufacturers, recognizing the opportunity to appeal to concerned consumers who also tend to be trendsetters for other consumers, are extremely accommodating to this trend, reformulating products to eliminate those ingredients that are being shunned.

They have also been reformulating their products for decades, especially products in which the fat, sugar, or salt contents needed to be reduced or eliminated in order to appeal to more health-conscious consumers.

Currently, manufacturers are looking to appeal to this same base by eliminating such ingredients as gluten as well as genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

For instance, General Mills has introduced a non-GMO version of its Cheerios product, even though it has contributed to the campaigns to defeat mandatory labeling of products containing GMO ingredients.