Nearly three-quarters of Americans claim they read nutrition labels, and most “strongly agree” that they prioritize recognizable ingredients as a key indicator of healthier food.
It’s a trend that major brands have embraced. Campbell’s®, Nestlé®, Kraft® and Kellogg’s®, for example, have all committed to removing artificial ingredients from their products to meet consumer demand for – and perceptions of – natural food and beverages.
Now, the definition of “natural” food is a little bit of a gray area. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn’t put official parameters around the term and, as a result, some food manufacturers choose not to use “natural,” opting instead for terms consumers identify as clean: free-form, minimally processed and the like.
This level of transparency in terms of wholesomeness has given rise to what’s known in the industry as “clean labeling.”
What is clean label?
Essentially, “clean label” reflects the manufacturer’s commitment to eliminating artificial ingredients, enhancers, preservatives, dyes and common allergens. It uses simple, clear language to describe ingredients not to mislead consumers, but because simple ingredients are all that the food or beverage contains. Think of it this way: the easier it is for a consumer to pronounce and envision the ingredients, the cleaner the product and corresponding label.
Since consumers most readily have access to labels at retail, “clean label” is widely thought to be a retail construct. However, food manufacturers are keenly aware that it has implications for restaurants they supply. Owners/operators seek products that build consumer confidence in what menu offerings contain, and they want their customers to feel good about the food they serve.
Pizza dough and clean label
Finding the sweet spot between consumer expectations and the practicalities of maintaining a pizza crust/dough inventory can be a challenge for operators who want to include clean label offerings.
But, if you work with manufacturers like Alive & Kickin’ Pizza Crust, the solution is easy. Dough Shop® by A&K Dough Balls are among the best options for clean label pizza dough for a couple of reasons:
- Dough balls typically have a short and all natural ingredient list that is free of preservatives: flour, water, yeast, sugar, salt, and oil.
- The preparation is simple: mix-freeze-proof- bake.
Using dough balls to offer clean label options doesn’t limit your menu. In fact, dough balls are extremely versatile, making great bases for anything from appetizers to entrées to desserts – especially when you have a variety to choose from, like that offered by Alive & Kickin’ Pizza Crust:
- Custom: Perfectly portioned 4 to 30 ounce crusts made from any recipe for consistent flavor without undue labor, equipment or ingredient handling
- Hotel & Restaurant Flour: A less chewy, more bread-like option for thicker pizzas and breadsticks
- Specialty: Low-labor dough balls for patron-pleasing focaccia, take-and-bake and classic Neapolitan crusts
For those seeking a clean label in pre-formed pizza crust, Alive & Kickin' Pizza Crust has terrific options in natural and organic recipes, as well as a knock-out line of clean label flatbreads.
When it comes down to it, clean label is about transparency – in ingredients, preparation and patron relationships. Find the crusts that work for clean label compliance or any other need in the Pizza Crust Types Comparison Guide. Download your free copy by clicking the button below.