Although there are no proven health issues related to genetically modified ingredients (GMOs), consumer skepticism is largely centered on the idea of a potential, maybe yet to be understood, impact on health. At the same time, there is suspicion related to the possible environmental implications of interfering with the natural order of things. Consumers associate natural and unadulterated diets with health & wellness, therefore as a result, GMO-free claims are most widely appearing on products with an already positive natural or healthy profile.
Over 5% of new global product launches in 2018 featured GMO-free claims, an average annual growth of 14% since 2014. By region, North America has overtaken Europe as the leading region for GMO-free claims in recent years. Latin America is also seeing a marked increase in their use. By country, the US leads the way, ahead of Ukraine, Russia, the UK and Canada.
Launches of GMO-free foods are highest in the bakery, dairy and snacks categories, although overall penetration of such claims peaks in the cereals and baby and toddler sectors. Based on the results of a Innova Market Insights consumer study (2018), 27% of Russian consumers said GMO-free claims influence their purchase.
Product launches with a “GMO-free” claim, top market sub-categories (Global, 2018)
Market category Penetration (%)
(Source: Innova Market Insights)