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FDA

Inspirational Branding

An open Letter to: Wholesome Brands

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Visiting the newly opened New York City Whole Foods and walking every geometrically-perfect and structurally curated aisles had me over-thinking once more.

It might be this new location’s beautiful Bryant Park views that gave me a different set of strategy perceptions.

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Couldn’t help to wonder, for all this wholesome, healthy, free-from brands and products; how many clients/buyers truly read and trust their labels?

After seeing healthy claim after healthy claim, in every style of copywriting…  I can only ask…a

Are all this health conscious consumers around me, seduced and triggered to buy by each Brand’s claims of all natural, no preservatives, no-GMOs, bio, bio-friendly, gluten-free, no sugar… etc?

That said, I’ve even been noticing with some of my client packaging stating very liberally the All Natural claim.

So…

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DEAR WHOLESOME BRANDS, 

I know the market growth for “natural” products is no close to slowing down, in fact, the last 2016 Natural Products Industry forecast predicts a worth of $2552 B by 2019 (64% growth from 2013).
Yet there is a growing concern within the Brand Strategy community regarding the claim All Natural.

So far the FDA has not engaged in any rulemaking or formal definition for the term “natural” but is do to review and make a decision on the multiple public comments they’ve received this year.

I strongly believe, that as Brand Strategist, we must advise you and your wholesome Brands.

We believe that to have all natural claim included in your packaging might be a risk (unless you can transparently prove it). This is not a cause for alarm, but with more consumers seeking the true meaning of this claims, it is safer to re-word or re-phrase the claim.

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It is dangerous to believe that our consumer, (but more important, lawsuits groups) will never ask questions about your Brand’s packaging claims.

Consumer groups have already created education content on the matter, calling some of this claims “useless”.

If you agree, let’s open up a conversation with your and your Brands.

A re-wording branding project must be enacted soon. Each of this claims most be reformulated into words that work with both the FDA and the Brand’s needs.

This way your Brand’s reputation and statements stay intact and your consumer’s trust will stay long after the FDA finalizes their rulemaking on these claims.

Sincerely, 
The DBC 

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Other Facts:
 – The FDA was pressured to open an investigation on the term due to continuing consumer concerns and lawsuits regarding All Natural. This happened after the controversial legal action against 5 personal-care products.

– FDA opened the investigation in April 2016.

– This investigation followed a review of “misleading claim” cases from 2015 with Kind Bar and sparked the biggest food-related lawsuit yet, against Quaker Oats in May 2016 for their “100% Natural”.

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