January 27, 2016

Consumer Reports: consumers seek ‘natural’ labels

More than half of consumers seek products with a “natural” food label on them, according to Consumer Reports. In December, the Consumer Reports National Research Center surveyed a “nationally representative sample of 1,005 adults to get their take on natural food labeling.”

The survey found that 62 percent of shoppers buy foods with “natural” labeling. According to the survey however, what consumers’ believe natural should mean varied:

  • 85 percent – No chemicals were used during processing
  • 84 percent – No artificial ingredients or colors
  • 84 percent – No toxic pesticides
  • 82 percent – No GMOs

Consumer Reports found that 87 percent of shoppers who buy foods labeled as “natural” would pay more if the label met all of their expectations.

Last November the FDA opened a commenting period for docket FDA-2014-N-1207 on the use of the term “natural” on food labeling. Originally set to end on Feb. 10, the commenting period was extended to May 10.

Consumer Reports plans to submit a petition to the FDA on May 10. The petition calls “for a ban of the term ‘natural’ or for giving it a meaningful definition.”

To view the survey on “natural” food labels, visit the Consumer Reports website.


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