Last year at New Hope Natural Media, several people from our Standards Department met with me and industry veterans who wish to see parameters drawn around the term "natural." Our New Hope Standards team works very diligently to monitor the claims on product packaging and advertisements, and operate under the guidelines set by USDA, FDA and FTC.
During our meeting, we considered past attempts to define "natural," which is historically a very mercurial and complicated claim. However, consumers trust “natural,” and because we are, after all, New Hope Natural Media, with tradeshows such as Natural Products Expo and Natural Foods Merchandiser magazine, we want to provide the platform for a variety of voices to contribute toward a more meaningful definition of "natural."
Rather than simply stating our own values, we would like to hear directly from you. In particular, our retail audience that faces customers more often than anyone else in industry. And we apologize for not asking you sooner and more often. I can’t promise that the conversation will lead to regulatory changes, or that we’ll ever come to a complete consensus, but there is virtue in scrutiny.
- What do your customers tell you when they compare natural products?
- What are your buying values when merchandising foods, supplements and personal care items for your store?
Let’s start the conversation again. Leave your comments here; participate in the Retail Town Hall at Natural Products Expo West next month and join the #definenatural Twitterchat on Feb. 21 at 10:00 AM (PST).