How to Market Clean Label Ingredients

With the growing interest in cleaner ingredients, bakers should take steps to let customers know what goes into their creations. Whether it’s in-store signage, online messages or face-to-face conversations, informing people that you’re using better-for-you ingredients will be good for business.

“Consumers are becoming increasingly interested in understanding the ingredients that bakers are using,” says Elena Taylor, Senior Marketing Director on Wet Ingredients at Dawn Foods. People want to know what they’re putting into their bodies, and bakers are responding by clearly stating their philosophy when it comes to ingredients, she adds.

Promoting Your Philosophy

When creating a strategy for how you’ll share your ingredient philosophy and values, remember that it’s key to reinforce your message as you’re reaching new people. “It’s an evergreen part of your overall communication strategy,” Taylor says.

Make sure your ingredient philosophy is promoted front and center in your store and on your website. “It’s also important to talk about it within your social channels, and share that, so that your customers know. One of Dawn’s eight global trends, Transparency 360, focuses on this idea of transparency,” Taylor says.

Although social posts highlighting your ingredient philosophy don’t need to occur daily, once a month or so you might talk about a new item that you’re offering and link that to your ingredient values, Taylor says. The rest of your social content can vary throughout the month, depending on how frequently you’re posting.

Need a little inspiration? Take a look at two bakeries that have successfully learned how to market clean label ingredients using their website, social channels and in-store tactics. These bakeries promote high quality and natural ingredients they use daily.

Website and Social Channels

For the Love of Sugar, one of Taylor’s favorite bakeries in Detroit, emphasizes its passion for quality—and makes that known to customers. This Instagram post shows a label that emphasizes the bakery’s commitment to developing delicious, homemade products while emphasizing its values: “… to create something well-balanced and unlike anything else. All of our recipes are made from scratch, made with love and a passion for quality. We put that same effort into crafting our drinks as we did developing our baked goods.”

Instagram Post of coffee beans bag

For the Love of Sugar bakery uses the labels on its products to emphasize its commitment to quality to its customers. 

The website’s homepage also highlights the bakery’s passion for quality:

For the Love of Sugar homepage screenshot

For the Love of Sugar bakery highlights, on its website, how passionate the business is about creating quality products.

Christopher Elbow, who owns Christopher Elbow Chocolates, which has two free-standing locations as well as products in other retailers nationwide, and Fairway Creamery in Fairway, Kansas, promotes his products on Instagram featuring a shot of a donut and a conversational statement highlighting their natural ingredients:

Fairway Creamery donuts

Fairway Creamery promotes its donuts by posting images, like those above, on the business's Instagram and detailing the natural ingredients in them.

And the Fairway Creamery home page features this short, but sweet, proclamation:

Fairway Creamery website description

Fairway Creamery sweetly summarizes the business's mission on its website. 

In-store Tactics

Window clings serve as in-store promotions that can publicize a bakery’s use of simple ingredients such as flour, sugar and eggs. “That really helps communicate to customers, ‘I’m using these basic ingredients you would have in your pantry to make sweet baked goods. I’m making them the same way you would from home.’ Whatever the in-store message, make it stand out,” Taylor says.

Even with Fairway Creamery’s online presence, Elbow hasn’t forgotten the art of talking with his customers.
“We’ve had to really engage in a dialogue on what’s different with our donuts, maybe why they’re a little more expensive and what the consumer can expect,” Elbow says.

Elbow says his employees know how to market clean label ingredients and are trained to speak to customers what makes their products different. “With a blueberry donut, for instance, we use blueberry puree in the icing so all the color comes from a natural source. It’s getting the customer to understand that before they consume our product. It puts it in a little better context.”

“We were really excited about the Dawn Balance line,” Elbow continues. “To be able to incorporate that into our product and to be able to talk not only about the flavors that we do but the base donut itself being of cleaner ingredients and natural as opposed to having all the traditional dough conditioners and fillers.”

Taylor also has observed a growth in the placement of windows that allow customers to watch bakery staff making products. “I think it creates a really strong connection between the customer and the baker. As customers see that, they can almost be part of what’s going on behind the scenes.”

Dawn, she adds, has created table tents and other signage that bakeries can set out to inform customers of the positive steps bakeries are taking to use clean label ingredients without artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and so on.

Read more about Dawn’s better for you products.

Photos: iStock; For the Love of Sugar; Fairway Creamery