A report from EcoFocus Worldwide, released by Memphis-based Evergreen Packaging, shows a set of key trends for the food and beverage industry as it moves into 2018. The report details that authenticity is the name of the game, labeling a growing consumer segment: Fresh Authentics. The segment, comprised of 11% of shoppers, are looking for health-conscious brands and foods that also offer what customers call an authentic experience. Fresh Authentics are likely to grow in influence as more brands respond to their need for an all-around natural and health-conscious product.

Authenticity doesn’t stop at the ingredient list. Shoppers are searching for packaging that, like the healthy food they desire, is sustainable and clean, minimizing preservatives and unnecessary chemicals. The EcoFocus study revealed that nearly two-thirds of shoppers are changing their shopping habits to reduce chemical exposure in their food packaging.

Companies are recognizing that transparency is the best way to reach the Fresh Authentics group. Around half of shoppers will drop a brand if they learn their business practices aren’t sustainable, and third-party certifications of environmental friendliness are a great method of maintaining shoppers’ trust.

Finally, the study showed that shoppers are looking for authentic retailers as well. Grocery stores that make healthy choices easier are a priority for nearly 70% of shoppers. The Fresh Authentics segment is growing quickly, choosing based on consistent, clear, and transparent authenticity at nearly every stage of their food product’s manufacture.