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Natural claims lead NPD way in 2008

In 2008, food and drink claims classified as “Natural”- including all natural, no additives/preservatives, organic and wholegrain – were the most frequently featured on new products globally, reports Mintel.

The latest review from the Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD)* shows the simplest things in life can have the biggest impact. In 2008, food and drink claims classified as “Natural”- including all natural, no additives/preservatives, organic and wholegrain – were the most frequently featured on new products globally. In fact, “Natural” claims appeared on nearly one in every four (23%) food and drink launches in 2008, a 9% increase on 2007 figures.

Meanwhile, widely discussed food and drink claims, such as “Convenience” or “Ethical and Environmental,” did not challenge the number one position of “Natural” on new products. In 2008, Mintel GNPD saw only 12% of new food and drink products highlighting “Convenience” benefits, while a mere 5% claimed to take an “Ethical and Environmental” stance. 

“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,” states David Jago, leading new product expert at Mintel. “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.”

Mintel GNPD findings show that new food and drink launches in Europe are in line with global trends, as 23% featured “Natural” claims. But the UK is well ahead of the game in this area, with over one in three (36%) new food and drink products highlighting “Natural” qualities, a 17% increase since 2007 alone.

While “Natural” claims increased on new food and drink launches in 2008, fortified “Plus” claims,such as added vitamins or calcium, took the hardest hit. These claims fell 20% during 2008, appearing on just one in 20 (5%) new product launches worldwide, according to Mintel GNPD.

What is more, “Minus” claims (low-fat, reduced sugar, low-calorie, etc), once the height of healthy living, have begun to fall off in popularity on new products. Between 2007 and 2008, the number of new “Minus”-claiming food and drink launches started to stagnate globally.

“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 favour,” comments David Jago.  “Food and drink manufacturers realise that natural and pure have become healthy eating ideals, as people look for holistic, genuine nutrition they can trust.”

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