The Challenge of "Natural;" Flavor and Fragrance Trends

Consumers’ desire for natural flavors often centers on the inherent goodness of foods, said Lynn Dornblaser (Mintel International) during the fall seminar of Women in Flavor and Fragrance Commerce (WFFC) in Saddle Brook, New Jersey. Natural, beyond a focus on diminished processing, is tied to such concepts as low fat, ethical and environmental. And so, said Dornblaser, consumers will pay more money for some natural products—but not as much as they say they do. The reality is that people often say they do what they think they should be doing, not necessarily what their behavior reflects.

Key areas in which natural claims are booming include bakery, snacks, sauces and seasonings and, notably, soft drinks. Meanwhile, “natural” is presumed by consumers in juice-based drinks. Other beverage categories are registering low or no growth in natural claims.

Dornblaser highlighted several notable naturalpositioned products surfacing around the world. The United Kingdom’s Beet It energy shot comprises beet and lemon juice. Meanwhile, Tropicana’s Trop50 juice features 50% less sugar than its conventional juice, thanks to stevia. This natural zero-calorie sweetener’s ubiquity is now such that stevia-sugar cubes have reached the market in France.

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