Hitting the Shelves: Natural Alternatives -- May 2008
Manufacturers and consumers are aware of the growth of organic products and ingredients in the U.S. and abroad. However, consumers do not necessarily need to buy organic products to feel they are purchasing products that are more natural or healthy. Many consumers buy all-natural products as an alternative to organics, in part because they feel the products are similar.
Because of this consumer confusion between “organic” and “all-natural,” many manufacturers have launched products with all-natural positioning. Such products are often priced in line with standard products, while organic products are generally priced at a premium, due to the higher ingredient costs. Also, sourcing enough organic ingredients can make launching a nationally distributed organic product difficult, particularly for major manufacturers. Products that incorporate natural ingredients do not have this issue. Lastly, manufacturers do not need to deal with the certification process required for organic products. There are no formal guidelines or laws that regulate natural positioning in the U.S.
Despite the activity with all-natural claims, organic products are still growing. However, the use of all-natural positioning may open the door for manufacturers trying to appeal to consumers looking for natural products, without having to take the formal step of going organic.