‘Natural’ Food: What Does it Mean to Consumers?

New Ipsos study finds that there is strong consensus globally in opinion around the use of terms such as ‘natural’ on packaging. Key regional differences are highlighted in the report.

‘Natural’ Food: What Does it Mean to Consumers?

The author(s)

  • Nicolas Boyon Senior Vice President, US, Ipsos Public Affairs
  • Mallory Newall Director, US, Public Affairs
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Washington, DC -  Consumers are more conscious than ever about the safety and trustworthiness of food and drink, which has led to an increase in the use of terms such as ‘natural’ on packaging. Food and drink manufacturers are having to become more open about their ingredients, production and supply chains, and want to help consumers feel more confident about the safety and purity of their food.

Although terms such as ‘gluten-free’ are easy for consumers to understand, ‘natural’ is slightly more ambiguous, leaving consumers and marketers to define it for themselves. In this global study, Ipsos set out to discover exactly how consumers interpret the term. ‘Without artificial ingredients’, ‘100% from nature’ and ‘healthy’ were the three most common associations. We also found that while younger age groups associate ‘natural’ with organic, older age groups focus on the ingredients. There was strong consensus in opinion across the 28 countries, but key regional differences are highlighted in the report.

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The author(s)

  • Nicolas Boyon Senior Vice President, US, Ipsos Public Affairs
  • Mallory Newall Director, US, Public Affairs

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