CHICAGO — The latest review from the Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD) shows in 2008, food and drink claims classified as "natural," including all natural, no additives/preservatives, organic and wholegrain, were the most frequently featured on new products globally.
 
"Natural" claims appeared on nearly one in four (23 percent) of food and drink launches in 2008, a 9 percent increase from 2007. Meanwhile, widely discussed food and drink claims, such as "convenience" or "ethical and environmental," did not challenge the No. 1 position of "natural" on new products. In 2008, Mintel GNPD saw only 12 percent of new food and drink products highlighting "convenience" benefits, while a mere 5 percent claimed to take an "ethical and environmental" stance.
 
"Although convenience and the environment are popular talking points today, these benefits did not receive anywhere near the same level of attention as 'natural' claims did," said Lynn Dornblaser, leading new product expert at Mintel. "With economic struggles driving people toward a simpler way of life, we expect that food and drink manufacturers will continue to prize natural, wholesome benefits well into 2009."
 
In the United States, Mintel GNPD saw an even greater percentage of new food and drink products launched with "natural" claims. One-third of new launches highlighted these attributes, up 16 percent from 2007. Only 18 percent of new food and drink products communicated "convenience" on the packaging, while just 7 percent expressed "ethical and environmental" benefits.

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