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Authenticity in Prepared Meals, Soups and Sauces – What does Clean Label mean to the European consumer?

Informed consumers are demanding more from the food they eat, but taste remains a key driver in their purchasing decisions. Time poor consumers are looking for meals that taste authentic and allow them to feel good about serving to their families, despite not being made from scratch.

Kerry has undertaken research* to investigate consumers attitudes to ingredients and understanding of clean label in key European markets. Speaking to more than 3,000 frequent buyers of prepared meals, soups and sauces, Kerry has found there is a unifying desire for meals made with natural and real ingredients.


When shopping for groceries 71% of consumers check the back of the pack to know exactly what is in the product, in terms of ingredients, nutritional content and origin, and two out of three consumers look for shorter ingredient decks that are good for them. 

When asked what does clean label exactly mean in prepared meals, soups and sauces, ‘free from artificial ingredients’ and ‘natural’ came out as the key attributes. 46% of consumers are actively searching for products with no artificial flavouring, while 76% of respondents said they would like to see more natural ingredients in these categories. Furthermore, half of consumers are willing to switch from their favorite brands to products that carry a natural claim.

Charmian Day, Senior Marketing Manager – Savoury End Use Market, at Kerry Europe says, “Changing consumer demands create complexity for the developers of prepared meals, soups and sauces, who need to develop authentic taste within the reality of mass production. Our research shows that the use of flavourings, which bring high taste intensity at a lower cost, may not be acceptable to consumers anymore.”


“At Kerry, we believe delicious meals start with stocks made from scratch which effectively deliver restaurant quality taste. We have taken the time to develop a range of natural stocks, without artificial ingredients that are ideal for the prepared meals, soups and sauces that consumers will love.”

Learn more: Kerry-authentic



* Consumer Research Savoury Clean Label - Europe, Kerry 2016