Typically, the trend toward clean label has fulfilled a simple consumer desire: People want to know precisely what they are putting into their bodies. Dubbed the clean-label movement, it grew out of a global desire for healthier food and beverage alternatives.

If shoppers looking to abide by the clean-label movement can’t pronounce scientific-sounding preservatives in their cheese or synthetic chemicals in their yogurt, they take a hard pass. They want to look at a product and find a clear, short list of recognizable ingredients.

Often, however, as the practice of clean labeling increased, packages became cluttered; consumer packaged goods companies (CPGs) not only revealed the item’s contents, but also saw an opportunity to call out other wellness benefits. For example, a company might differentiate a strictly organic dairy product by calling out its organic status on the label. CPGs were soon calling out GMO-free, free-range, grass-fed, gluten-free or just plain healthy in addition to a clean label.

Eventually, the demand for transparency on labels created new problems for package design, as CPGs had a hard time finding a happy medium between providing the information they felt the public wanted and overcrowding labels. Shining a light on the added benefits of a dairy product via its package label is not on its face a bad thing, but too much takes a label from clean to chaotic. The disarray led to “Clean Label 2.0.”

In its “Global Packaging Trends 2018” report, Mintel cites label overcrowding and the birth of Clean Label 2.0 as one of the five biggest trends impacting the food and beverage industry. Cluttered labels create confusion at a time when consumers seek accessible product information that is easy to understand with only the essentials. Mintel’s report suggests Clean Label 2.0 as a minimalist approach to the clean label ideology. Packages need to provide consumers with two or three pieces of essential information, perhaps highlighting the ingredients but not overwhelming the consumer with too many additional identifiers.

One way to continue to convey information via Clean Label 2.0 — without putting it on the package — is via social media. Social media platforms provide a channel through which brands can communicate in an organized way. Instead of bombarding the customer at the point of purchase, a meaningful social media message provides consumer engagement. QR codes, meanwhile, can provide access to recipes, transparency claims and ingredient information.

Learn about the latest in dairy packaging

No event in North America this year provides more dairy packaging innovation, technology and education than Pack Expo Las Vegas (slated for Sept. 23–25 at the Las Vegas Convention Center). Produced by PMMI and co-located with Healthcare Packaging Expo, this event will bring together more than 30,000 attendees, including 5,000 international visitors from more than 125 countries and 2,000-plus exhibiting companies spanning nearly 900,000 net square feet of the exhibit floor.

New this year, The PACKage Printing Pavilion (located in the Central Hall) will offer a first-of-its-kind opportunity to see the latest labeling and digital printing innovations and techniques.

The latest dairy packaging applications will be displayed in the Containers and Materials Pavilion (in the Lower South Hall). The Reusable Packaging Pavilion (in the Upper South Hall) will showcase advancements in dairy package design and sustainable packaging. Hosted by the International Society of Beverage Technologists (ISBT), the Beverage Cooler Lounge (Booth Upper South-7629) provides dairy beverage industry professionals with a comfortable seating area and tables for casual networking and educational presentations, including Ask-the-Expert sessions.

Dairy and clean-label solutions will also populate education sessions at the Innovation Stage, where exhibitors present breakthrough technologies during free 30-minute seminars, and The Forum, featuring free 45-minute interactive sessions on the latest industry innovations.

Registration for Pack Expo Las Vegas 2019, which includes access to both Pack Expo Las Vegas and Healthcare Packaging Expo is $30 until Aug. 30, when the price increases to $100. For more information and to register online, visit packexpolasvegas.com.