Recent data from Symphony Consulting (click here ), shows that while US retail sales of products making ‘natural’ claims still grew in 2012, the pace of that growth slowed noticeably compared with the 2009-11 period.
According to Mintel, meanwhile, although natural claims still feature on hundreds of new products, they are not emblazoned over quite as many foods as they used to be, appearing on 12% of US food and beverage launches in 2012 vs 14% in 2010 (click here ).
A meaningless marketing term that’s been co-opted by big food brands?
To some consumers, ‘natural’ means clean label (foods that only contain ingredients you’d expect to find in your kitchen cupboard at home). To others it signals safer, healthier, less processed, nothing artificial, or more sustainable.
To the cynics, natural is just a meaningless marketing term that’s been co-opted by big food brands who are slapping it on products that might be free from 'artificial ingredients', but are by no means ‘healthy’ or wholesome.
Is being free from 'artificial ingredients' a useful indicator of whether foods are more healthy or wholesome?
So what’s next for natural and clean label?
To answer this question, FoodNavigator is launching Natural & Clean Label Trends 2013 : A FREE online event on June 26 that will explore all angles of this debate.
REGISTER FOR FREE here.
Natural & Clean Label Trends 2013
A must-attend event for anyone in food and beverage formulation, marketing & branding, regulatory or labeling functions, Natural & Clean Label Trends 2013 will explore how clean label and natural trends are developing, what consumers expect, and the latest developments in natural ingredients.
The natural and clean label market opportunity
How can food manufacturers tap into consumer demand for more ‘natural’ foods, and what’s the size of the prize? How are clean label trends evolving, and who is driving the agenda? Retailers? Manufacturers? Consumers? NGOs? Where does organic fit in? And what label claims are on the rise?
- Speaker: Tom Vierhile, Innovation insights director, Datamonitor.
- Moderator: Caroline Scott-Thomas, editor, FoodNavigator.com
Regulatory update: Are natural claims worth the legal headaches?
With a class action lawsuit filed almost weekly in California against companies using the word ‘natural’ (in the absence of a useful legal definition), should food marketers think twice about using the term in the US market? How many of these cases ever go to trial, and what can we learn from recent judgments?
- Speaker: Rebecca Cross, Counsel, BraunHagey LLP (pictured).
- Moderator: Hank Schultz, senior correspondent, FoodNavigator-USA
Panel debate: The evolution of natural and clean-label: What do consumers want?
Does 'natural' amount to more than just a list of acceptable or unacceptable ingredients on a food label? What other cues are consumers looking for when deciding if a product is natural and wholesome? Does natural just mean ‘nothing artificial’? Or could it also mean safer, healthier, more ethical or more sustainable? How does it relate to organics? How do consumers determine if something is 'less processed'?
1 - What does research tell us about what consumers consider to be 'natural'?
2 - Who is driving the natural and clean-label agenda?
3 - What processing methods render a product from a natural source (corn, stevia) un-natural?
4 - Is the term 'natural' at risk of becoming devalued?
5 - Where is the ‘natural’ trend going?
- Chris Brockman: Senior Global Food & Drink Analyst, Mintel
- Aaron Edwards: Director, Wholesome Ingredients Business, Ingredion UK Limited
- Catherine Adams Hutt: President, RdR Solutions Consulting, LLC
- Mary C. Mulry: President, FoodWise
Moderator: Elaine Watson, editor, FoodNavigator-USA
Growth opportunities for clean-label-positioned foods and beverages
Though no formal regulatory definition exists for ‘clean label’, consumer insights are helping to shape a proposed definition. This definition includes more than just the ingredients in the recipe. Food and beverage companies are using multiple front-of-pack positions to promote clean label offerings. As the number of new clean-label products launched around the world continues to rise, success depends upon understanding what consumers say about their priorities, intentions and preferences. Are the products in your clean-label portfolio aligned with what consumers say they wish to purchase? This likely differs by country and/or region. We will explore high-level consumer insights in this area.
- Speaker: Aaron Edwards, director, wholesome ingredients, Ingredion UK
Click here for full details about Natural & Clean Label Trends 2013.
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