New research highlights consumer attitudes to artificial ingredients

14 October 2015  •  Author(s): Victoria White

New research has found that 62% of UK consumers say they would be more likely to purchase from a particular brand if it removed all artificial ingredients from its products.


The new research comes from Instantly who polled 1,517 people in the UK to explore perceptions around artificial vs. natural ingredients.

Instantly’s research suggests that concerns over health are the overriding reason for consumers preferring products without artificial ingredients. More than three-quarters (76%) of consumers agreed with the statement that: food products with artificial ingredients are less healthy than food products with natural ingredients. Even in traditionally unhealthy categories, like snacks or frozen pizza, many people believe products will be healthier when artificial ingredients are removed.

Nestle, Kraft and General Mills have all pledged to remove artificial ingredients from their products signalling how the industry is being shaped by consumer attitudes and the shift to more natural ingredients. According to the study 64% of consumers would have a more positive perception of a brand if it removed all artificial ingredients from its products.

It seems that consumers are even willing to buy products with decreased shelf life and taste following the removal of artificial ingredients, with 65% of consumers saying they would be prepared to purchase these altered products.

Only 25% of consumers trust large established companies to produce a product free of artificial ingredients

The research also uncovered the differing consumer attitudes towards independent and large established companies with only 25% of consumers saying they would trust a large established company to produce a product with all natural products. This is compared to 75% of consumers who said that they would trust a small independent company to do the same

Ben Leet, UK MD of Instantly, said, “People in the UK are becoming increasingly health conscious and this is reflected in their attitudes towards the inclusion of artificial ingredients in the products they consume. There is also clearly a perception issue that larger companies need to address, as consumers tend to link natural food brands with independent suppliers. With natural food brands seemingly becoming more popular, corporations may have their work cut out for them when trying to convince consumers to continue purchasing their products.”

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