Claiming to be natural
Being as natural as possible is one of my 20 big themes for food and drink in the next 20 years, but how to promote this is becoming ever more difficult.
This year has seen numerous legal disputes about use of the word natural on packs – involving brand leaders from Ben & Jerry’s and Kellogg to Snapple and Tropicana.
It would undoubtedly be helpful if a standard definition of natural could be established. The US Food and Drug Administration authority has tried, but its guidance is not unnaturally limited:
The FDA “has not established a formal definition for the term “natural”, however the agency has not objected to the use of the term on food labels provided it is used in a manner that is truthful and not misleading and the product does not contain added color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances. Use of the term “natural” is not permitted in the ingredient list, with the exception of the phrase “natural flavorings”.”
A natural minefield.