GUADALUPE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Apio, Inc., a leading producer of fresh-cut vegetables and sophisticated, chef-inspired salad kits for the United States and Canada under the Eat Smart® brand, has pledged that its entire Eat Smart portfolio will be free from artificial colors, flavors and preservatives by the end of 2018. Eat Smart is the first brand in the non-organic salad kit and tray category to commit to clean ingredients and labeling, with plans for all products to contain a 100% Clean Label by the end of 2018. The move is in response to customer and retailer demand for easy-to-understand labels and ingredient panels.
“Eat Smart has always been synonymous with fresh, convenient ways to eat healthy every day,” said Anne Byerly, Vice President of Marketing, Apio. “Our move to 100% Clean Label is designed to make nutrition easier to understand. We expect 100% Clean Label to become a mainstream standard.”
The North American salad kit category is approximately $2.1 billion; of this total market, less than 2% of salad kits are sold as organic1. The number and complexity of ingredients in most salad kits makes it difficult to source all ingredients organically at a price that consumers are willing to pay. By offering consumers 100% Clean Label salad kits and trays, Eat Smart provides consumers with a healthy – and affordable – option for realizing their personal wellness goals.
“The most delicious, easy-to-use salad kits and vegetable trays just got even better with Eat Smart's commitment to lead the way with high standards for ingredients," says Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD, writer and nutrition consultant for Eat Smart. “I’m pleased to be able to recommend Eat Smart's tasty options that make it affordable, simple, and fun to eat vegetables.”
Statistics Highlight Broad Consumer Interest
The clean food movement is accelerating, sparked by health-conscious consumers who prefer to know exactly what is and isn’t in the food they are eating. Estimated North American sales of clean label products in 2015 were $62 billion2, and they are expected to keep growing, as 62% of consumers globally say they try to avoid artificial colors, flavors and preservatives in their food3. In addition, nearly three-quarters of consumers are looking for clean labels, preferring mostly recognizable ingredients4.
Nearly 90% of Eat Smart products are already clean, including all cut vegetable products, salad blends and the most popular, nutrient-dense vegetable salad kits, including Eat Smart Sweet Kale, Strawberry Harvest and Sunflower Kale. Apio’s 100% Clean Label initiative is focused on reformulating salad dressings, toppings and vegetable tray dips that are sourced from suppliers to ensure they meet the new 100% Clean Label initiative specifications.
Eat Smart products are available in more than 100 club and retail chains in the U.S. and Canada, including Walmart and Costco.
About Apio, Inc.
Apio, Inc., was founded in 1979 by five growers of celery in the Santa Maria Valley on the central coast of California. Today the company is the leader in processing and marketing fresh-cut specialty vegetables in the United States and Canada. Headquartered in Guadalupe, California, Apio sells its specialty vegetables, salads and party tray products under its retail Eat Smart® brand and foodservice GreenLine® brand. Landec Corporation (NASDAQ: LNDC), a leading developer and marketer of innovative and proprietary products for healthy living applications in the food and biomedical markets based in Menlo Park, California, acquired Apio in 1999. See www.eatsmart.net for more information.
1. Nielsen Answers US Total US xAOC, Costco projected by Nielsen Homescan Panel US, Nielsen CAN, W/E 10/29/16; Club CAN for Packaged Salads only
2. Euromonitor, 2015
3. Nielsen Global Health and Ingredient Sentiment Survey, Q1 2016
4. Food Business News, Trends of the Year, 2015.