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Survey Finds A Lot Of Consumer Confusion About The Word “Natural”

January 27, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Unlike the term “organic,” as it applies to farming anyway, the word “natural” is not regulated by the U.S. government. Despite that, Americans are increasingly drawn to foods with that claim on their packaging, and food companies are very aware of its marketing value, winking at the fact that forty-five percent of those surveyed by Consumer Reports believed that natural was a verified claim. The proportion of Americans who regularly buy “natural” foods climbed to 62 percent in 2015 from 59 percent the year before, though buyers really didn’t know what they were paying for. So the three out of five people polled by CR who believe natural means non-GMO, as well as no artificial ingredients, colors, chemicals or pesticides, could be very misled or confused.
Hadley Malcolm, "More shoppers buying 'natural' food, yet most don't know what it means", USA Today, January 27, 2016, © USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, LLC
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