With an abundance of "All Natural" claims on foods and beverages but no defined standard, The Food Journal has examined the impact of "All Natural" to manufacturers, government agencies, brand managers, retailers and consumers and if the future is dim for the statement.
"Natural is clearly perceived by some brand managers as being a very important claim," says Phil Lempert, editor in chief of The Food Journal. "However, consumer skepticism is growing as shoppers pay attention to the nutritional facts panel and the ingredients on the labels and often it's not so natural."
According to the FDA, "it is difficult to define a food product that is 'natural' because the food has probably been processed and is no longer the product of the earth." The FDA has yet to define the claim, but does not object to it appearing on a label if a food does not contain "added color, artificial flavors or synthetic substances."
Based on USDA filings between 2003 and 2010, the amount of new "Natural" product launches increased from 1,380 to 2,145 annually. According to Mintel, new product introductions with "Natural" claims are at 11.81 percent in 2012 compared to Organic at 6.35 percent.
While analyzing the topic from various perspectives, the May 14, 2013, issue of The Food Journal also contains commentaries from Mitsuru Shimizu, Ph.D., a post-doctoral associate at Cornell University, Cornell Food and Brand Lab and Dan Donovan, spokesperson for Giant Eagle Supermarkets.
Source: The Food Journal