CHICAGO — “Kosher” was the most popular new-product claim for the second consecutive year in 2007, followed by “all-natural,” “no additives/preservatives” and “organic,” according to Mintel's Global New Products Database.
“The numbers underscore the changing definition of health and wellness,” noted Krista Faron, senior analyst for custom solutions at Mintel. “Instead of things like low, no or reduced fat or calories, we're seeing kosher, all-natural and organic becoming the new healthy for consumers. Many shoppers perceive them to be higher quality, safer and healthier.”
Of the new products introduced this year, at least 4,719 claim to be kosher, 2,438 advertise an all-natural status, 2,164 state that they have no additives/preservatives and 1,994 feature an organic claim.
“The kosher phenomenon is an interesting one, because products that bear the claim fall under a health and safety umbrella for many consumers,” Faron said. “Also, many are meat- or dairy-free, so they appeal to those interested in eating vegetarian or vegan.”
Faron acknowledged that the popularity of all-natural claims could have something to do with the fact that the Food and Drug Administration hasn't established a formal definition for the term “natural.” The FDA doesn't object to its use as long as products bearing the claim are free of added color, artificial flavors and synthetic substances.
“If you contrast all-natural to organic, which does have to adhere to criteria, it's much easier to include all-natural on your packaging,” she said. “Also, the average consumer probably can't differentiate between the two claims.”
Sourcing challenges may also limit the number of products that succeed in gaining organic certification. “It's difficult for companies to source organic ingredients,” said Faron. “Because there is such consumer confusion between organic and all-natural, many have chosen to take the all-natural route.”
Although more all-natural products were introduced in 2007 than those that made an organic claim, organic introductions are growing at a faster rate, Faron noted. Additionally, many new products make both organic and all-natural claims. Likewise, convenience claims were often paired with products that advertised that they are microwaveable. The popularity of the two claims ranked fifth and sixth, respectively.
Also making it to the top 20 list were claims including premium; low/no/reduced fat, trans fat, sugar, calories, allergen, sodium and cholesterol; seasonal; vitamin/mineral fortified; gluten-free; whole grain; vegetarian; and for children (5-12).