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Food Manufacturers Back Away From the “Natural” Claim

August 15, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
For years there has been a “disconnect” between what consumers think of as “natural” foods and what food manufacturers provide, perhaps because there’s no official definition. The disconnect has led to confusion and litigation – more than 200 lawsuits have been filed in recent years. So, industry experts say, manufacturers are turning away from natural, using instead words such as "simply" and "pure" to suggest the idea that a product contains no artificial or synthetic ingredients. Pillsbury, for example, has "Simply ... Cookies" and Frito-Lay has "Simply Cheetos Puffs". Meanwhile, consumers are being advised to remember that natural should not be confused with healthful. "Natural" potato chips may not have been bleached, but they’re “still a bag of potato chips”.
Mary MacVean , "Food buyers lean toward 'natural,' a claim that's hard to define", Los Angeles Times, August 15, 2014, © Los Angeles Times
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