2021 Clean Label Resolutions: To Eat Meat or Not (or maybe just Leaner Meat)

by Heather

2021 Clean Label Resolutions: To Eat Meat or Not (or maybe just Leaner Meat)

How change and focus will continue to unfold in the coming year for consumers, especially in the world of food.

Our new year’s resolutions from earlier this year took on new meaning as we head into a year of uncertainty mixed with hope, after one of the most disruptive years of our lives. The resolutions we make range from simple changes to what we eat and products we use, to full-fledged changes to our habits—adjusted for the unknowns of the pandemic in 2021. Every year for the past four years, InsightsNow checks in with our proprietary community of Clean Label Enthusiasts®—trend-identifying shoppers who lead the way on clean label consumption and evaluation. In January, we discussed resolutions with this community to learn how clean label trends will be shifting and focusing over the next year. For an additional layer of insight, we expanded our yearly study in 2021 to include consumers outside of our Clean Label Enthusiasts (CLE) community—and we learned about some interesting differences.

Some of our findings include that most people, whether part of the CLE community or not, make resolutions regarding food. However, food-related resolutions have declined year over year, with 67% of CLE participants reporting a food-related resolution in 2018, with only 40% in 2021. Still they lead over non-clean label participants, with only 33% reporting a food-related resolution. Food resolutions include: eating more fruits and vegetables (24% CLE, 28% non-CLE), reducing carbs (27% CLE, 36% non-CLE), reducing sugar intake (15% CLE, 18% non-CLE), and reducing unhealthy beverages (26% CLE, 19% non-CLE). The largest difference we saw between the two participant groups when it relates to food resolutions was for meat. Clean Label Enthusiasts™ are resolving to eat less animal meat and more plant-based meat; whereas non-CLE are resolving to eat leaner animal meat.


InsightsNow Meat Resolution Graphs

Another trend we saw this year was that making any resolution at all was less common than previous years. There are two reasons reported for not making a resolution: self-confidence and fear of failure. However, for those who DO make resolutions, they are keeping them longer than one would think. Based on our qualitative research as part of this study, we find that resolutions ARE helpful in creating longer term behavioral change.

Our webinar, “How is the pandemic shaping clean living resolutions?” also explores hopes and dreams for the new year, covering topics such as environmental transparency from brands, improved accessibility to clean label foods and beyond, more healthy convenience item availability, and improved food education for children.

You can view our webinar by clicking below to see all the interesting data we collected, and some ideas for what this means for your business.

Clean Label Resolutions Webinar