Shoppers question what’s natural

Shoppers are becoming suspicious of seeing the word ‘natural’ on product labels, according to a report by Dutch food colouring specialist GNT. The manufacturer says 45% of consumers are suspicious when they see claims of naturalness on product labels.

A research company commissioned by GNT asked more than 5,000 consumers about natural claims on labels and discovered that consumers pay closer attention than ever to what they eat and drink every day. Checking for unwanted ingredients has become routine.

This infographic from GNT, conducted by market research institute TNS, shows the proportion of consumers whose purchasing decision is influenced by certain characteristics.

Findings over 60% are ‘no artificial additives’, ‘no preservatives’ and ‘free from artificial colours’. Not far behind are ‘no artificial sweeteners’ and ‘natural flavours’.

But who were these consumers? The researchers broke down their consumers into six groups, the largest being health-conscious consumers without much time (36% of those questioned). The next largest group was convenience seekers (22%), then conscious health seekers and those to whom affordability was more important than ‘natural’ (both 15%). The sixth group was ‘caring parents’ (12%).

Drilling down into the research, three-quarters of consumers were adamant that natural food should contain no additives and 64% consider natural and healthy food are the same thing. Access the GNT report here.

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