How Natural Are Natural Foods?

According to Mintel's Global New Products Database, 'All Natural' was the third most frequent claim to be made on food products launched in the United States during 2007. It was seen by consumers on 2,617 different items. The prevalence of these products on grocery store shelves is a direct result of strong consumer demand. What many consumers don't know is that there are no government regulations or even industry guidelines for making 'All Natural' label claims. Due to limited resources, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has no plans to define this term in the near future.

The Bigger Picture: If you want to know exactly what's inside the box, can or package of food that you're buying at the supermarket, check the Nutritional Facts panel. By law, the ingredients must be listed in descending order of predominance. That means the ingredient of highest proportion to all others must appear first, and the ingredient of the least proportion goes last. Of course, this panel isn't an issue for vegetables, fruits, dairy products and meats sold in their natural state. These whole foods really are 'All Natural.'
Leave a Comment