The label claims that are classified as ‘natural’ include no additives/preservatives, organic, wholegrain and all natural.
Mintel GNPD said one-third of all US new launches in 2008 highlighted these attributes, which was an increase of 16 percent compared to 2007.
This compared to new food and drink products which communicated ‘convenience’ on the packaging, which accounted for 18 percent of launches, while seven percent claimed to have ‘ethical and environmental’ benefits.
The natural category was also the most frequently used label claim featured on new food and beverage products globally in 2008, appearing on nearly one in four (23 percent) food and drink launches in 2008, which was a nine percent increase from 2007.
Worldwide, fortified ‘plus’ claims such as added vitamins or calcium fell 20 percent during 2008, appearing on just one in 20 new product launches.
Also ‘minus’ claims such as low-fat, reduced sugar and low-calories started to stagnate globally.
Lynn Dornblaser, leading new product expert at Mintel, said: “In the past, low-fat and low-calorie were the hallmarks of good nutrition and dieting, but today, that lifestyle seems passé.
“On top of this, fortified products are falling out of favor.
“Food and drink manufacturers today realize that natural and pure have become healthy eating ideals, as people look for holistic, genuine nutrition they can trust.”
Mintel GNPD said 12 percent of new food and drink products worldwide highlighted ‘convenience’ benefits, while five percent claimed to take an ‘ethical and environmental’ stance.
Dornblaser said: “Although convenience and the environment are popular talking points today, these benefits did not receive anywhere near the same level of attention as ‘natural’ claims did.
“With economic struggles driving people toward a simpler way of life, we expect that food and drink manufacturers will continue to prize natural, wholesome benefits well into 2009.”