The ‘Naturally Sourced’ Food Trend

label-100-natural_3002“Naturally sourced” is a hot trend and companies are quick to tout this attribute on product labels.  “Natural” is now the leading claim on new products, according to the Mintel Global New Products Database, which indicates that the claim was included on 23 percent of foods and beverages launched last year.

The recent Institute of Food Technologists meeting in Anaheim, California, featured a ton of  examples.  Take a look at this IFT trend tour that showcases the array of  naturally sourced products on display.

Included in this video is black garlic, which is one of the emerging flavors and foods that Dana McCauley writes about in the Topline Trends section of her food blog.  Dana is a wonderful food trend tracker and I encourage you to check out her site (“a recipe writer’s diary”).  Black garlic was also hailed as an “it” ingredient by The Washington Post:   “In relatively short order, black garlic has morphed from obscure dietary supplement to trendy top-chef ingredient.”


Black garlic even has its own web site Black garlic, where you can learn more about this product, find recipes and order it online.

It does appear that black garlic is poised to be the next naturally sourced super food.  So what is it?  Black garlic is made by using a patented, month-long heat-curing process that boosts the antioxidants and natural compounds in raw garlic that have been linked to a reduced risk of cancer.   The fermentation also creates a softer, chewy texture and a slightly sweet, licorice taste. Forms of fermented garlic have long been eaten for health reasons in Korea and Japan.  In fact, black foods overall are a hot trend in Asia  — a topic I wrote about previously for the Chicago Tribune.

So it seems…natural is the big buzzword and black is the new black.

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  • I was quite intrigued when I read about this trend and wrote about it on a recent Five for Fridays column. I think that the label “naturally sourced” is very much an oxymoron! Seems like the idea is to give an image of “naturalness” to foods processed by an unnatural process. I am not sure if a naturally sourced label makes a convincing argument about healthfulness of a processed food. It has taken a long time for the word “organic” to be properly defined to mean something, and yet there is still a lot of misunderstanding. I think that “naturally sourced” will end up creating a lot of confusion in the minds of consumers.

  • Janet

    So true. Natural does not mean more nutritious. It’s not a flag for a superior product. I think it’s a term that makes people feel better about buying processed food.

  • Truly…the very word “NATURAL” in food levels of pacakaged foods tends to mislead consumers today.

  • As consumers we are often misleaded by manipulative food ingredients levels on packaged foods. use of great sounding words make in the ingredient lists make us believe that the food product is more healthy and nutritious than it really is. Here is a review on various tactics used by food manufacturers on ingredients list. …..

  • Jack He

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