What is natural, and who decides? Plantiff’s attorneys? Consumers? Retailers? Are ‘all-natural’ claims still resonating with consumers or are other cues more important? And how does a consumer determine if a food is less processed?
In our debate, moderated by FoodNavigator-USA editor Elaine Watson, we’ll discuss:
- Beyond ‘all-natural’: What are consumers looking for?
Is the word ‘natural’ still very important for food marketers to use on pack, or are there other cues consumers look to that can convey ‘naturalness’ without landing food and beverage manufacturers and retailers in legal hot water? How do consumers determine if something is 'less processed'? Does natural just mean ‘nothing artificial’? Could it mean more ethical or sustainable? Will shoppers accept new healthy products if they are from GM crops?
- The legal lowdown
How many all-natural class action lawsuits go to trial? What can we learn from recent judgments? Are natural claims worth the hassle? And are certain ingredients obvious no-go areas? What’s the status of maltodextrin, dextrose, GMOs, HFCS, alkalized cocoa, steviol glycosides, erythritol and caramel color?
- Who’s driving the natural and clean-label agenda?
With no legal definition of ‘natural’ or ‘clean-label’, and every retailer operating a slightly different list of ‘unacceptable’ ingredients for suppliers to avoid, who decides what’s natural or clean? Bloggers? Activists? Retailers? Big brands? Natural products manufacturers? Are new ‘unacceptable’ ingredients joining the retailers’ blacklists? What role can trade associations play in helping to define natural?
- Natural vs organic
How does natural relate to organics? Are consumers aware of the differences?