What is Natural? 
Consumers perceive that natural products are better for them and for the environment. However, developing and marketing products that satisfy this consumer preference is made difficult by the lack of clarity and consistency as to just which types of ingredients and processes are compatible with use of a natural claim.

The Changing Face of Organic Consumers
Sales of organic foods and beverages reached $16.7 billion in 2006, up from $13.8 billion in 2005. With sales expected to more than double to $35 billion by 2011, it appears that organics are here to stay. But which product categories are poised for growth, who are these organic consumers, and what trends are driving their behavior?

Navigating the Processed Meats Labeling Maze
The rapid growth in the natural, organic, and uncured product segments of the meat and poultry industries over the past 3–4 years, as well as the various claims regarding the raising and handling of the animals involved, has led to confusion as to the exact meaning of the various labeling terms.

Organic Foods
IFT Scientific Status Summary Synopsis compares organic and conventional foods with respect to pesticide residues, nutritional components, naturally occurring toxins, and microbiological safety.

Top 10 Functional Food Trends
Functional foods are fast becoming a part of everyday life. Two-thirds of adults made an
effort to buy more fortified foods last year—up 17% over 2005. One-third of young adults age 18–24 regularly drink energy beverages. And more than half (57%) of mothers of preteens bought organic foods last year.

Getting Specific with Functional Beverages
Today’s consumers expect beverages to be part of their lifestyles, not just thirst quenchers. Consumers of different ages and sexes define their own lifestyles and choose specific beverages accordingly. Functional beverages address these different lifestyles and needs—excitement, energy boost, targeting specific disease, aging, fighting fatigue and stress, and making up for lack of healthy eating.

New Shades of ‘Green’ Consumers
Sustainability, carbon footprint, biodegradable, free-range, fair trade, food miles, wild-caught, locally grown, and organic—the fast-emerging wave of green consumerism has morphed into a series of multifaceted and emotionally charged issues.

2008 Healthful Foods Directory
Search an online database of suppliers of natural and organic ingredients, including colors, flavors, and sweeteners.

Regulatory News & Information

Organic Agriculture & Food Production (USDA/ERS)
National Organic Program (USDA/ARS)
Organic Production (USDA/NAL)
Organic Certification (USDA)
Product Labeling: Definition of the Term ‘Natural’ – Public Meeting Transcript (USDA/FSIS, pdf)
Product Labeling: Definition of the Term ‘Natural’ (USDA/FSIS Federal Register, pdf)
Regulations & Policies – Labeling Guidance (USDA/FSIS)
Guide to Federal Food Labeling Requirements for Meat & Poultry Products (USDA/FSIS)
Food Labeling & Nutrition (USDA/CFSAN)

Market Research & News

NPD Finds Fewer Americans Dieting But More Eating ‘Better for You’ Foods (NPD Group)
Fresh Thinking on Fresh: The Ongoing Redefinition of Quality (Tinderbox/Hartman Group)
Natural & Organic Retailing in the US, UK and Germany (Datamonitor)

New Food & Beverage Products in the Marketplace

All-Natural Nut-based Snacks
Natural Nut and Dried-Fruit Snacks
Natural Pet Food Treats for Dogs
Natural Simmering Sauces for Chicken
All-Natural Whole Grain Pasta
Natural Salmon Hot Dogs
Frozen Fruit Treats with Natural Colors & Flavors
Grate-It-Fresh Natural Parmesan Cheese
All-Natural Poultry Products
All-Natural Sleep Beverage
Organic Flax Pumpkin Raisin Cereal
All-Natural Probiotic Wellness Bars