Apio, Inc., a Guadalupe, Calif.-based producer of fresh-cut vegetables and salads under the Eat Smart brand, is said to be the first brand in the non-organic salad kit and tray category to commit to clean ingredients and labeling, with plans for all products to contain a “100% clean label” by the end of 2018.

“All Eat Smart products will be free from high-fructose corn syrup, artificial preservatives, hydrogenated fats, as well as artificial colors, flavors and sweeteners by the end of next year,” says Molly Hemmeter, chief executive officer. “Clean labeling is an important part of this initiative. Our easy-to-understand labels will list recognizable ingredients that consumers can feel good about putting in their bodies and serving to their families.”

Nearly 90% of Eat Smart products, including all cut vegetable products, salad blends and nutrient-dense vegetable salad kits such as Sweet Kale, Strawberry Harvest and Sunflower Kale products already contain a clean label. Apio’s “100% clean label” initiative focuses on reformulating supplier-sourced salad dressings and toppings and vegetable tray dips to ensure they meet the new 100% clean label initiative specifications. Select packages of Eat Smart salads and tray products with a clean label will begin featuring a prominent burst on the front of the package that says “100% Clean Label. No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.”

Eat Smart is committed to innovating delicious and convenient ways to eat healthy, and Apio’s 100% clean label initiative is the latest example of our commitment to consumers and to our retail partners,” says Hemmeter. “We intend to lead the industry and ensure that our products deliver maximum nutritional benefits. We’re excited to be at the forefront of a trend that we believe will become a mainstream standard.”

Eat Smart products are available in more than 100 club and retail chains in the United States and Canada.