The little voice inside your company’s head is the consumer – Is there a real need for natural?


Director of Behavioral Insights and User Experience, HCD Research, New Jersey, United States


As we are seeing exponential growth in the natural ingredient industry, it is becoming apparent that the concept of “natural” is largely fueled by consumer perceptions. While companies strive to meet consumer wants and needs, including trendy natural ingredients alone may not provide enough incentive to drive consumers to purchase. Quality assurance, credibility, and trust are fundamental in building connections with consumers. Using the consumer as a guide can ensure and build a relationship based on authenticity and trust that can drive brand loyalty to outlast any super-ingredient fad.

Food and beverage, cosmetics, personal care, even pet supplies aim to meet the growing consumer demand within the natural products industry. Trendy product iterations, from plant-based to regenerative to organic, have populated online marketplaces and store shelves to appear innovative and forward-thinking (or sometimes copycatting in response to competitive products). When expanding into the natural product space, companies can encounter both consumer trust and/or skepticism, where consumers opinions and experiences are heavily shaped by misconceptions and oversimplifications. Natural ingredients cast a health halo of purity and cleanliness but may not live up to the expectations of the consumer. The value of natural ingredients varies based on the consumer perception; therefore, companies must consider what their target consumer wants and needs. To have market success in the natural product space, companies must listen to and represent the consumer voice by being transparent, adaptable and trustworthy.


The halo of “natural”
There is no legal or regulated definition for “natural”, though it may be defined by Merriam-Webste ...