Posted: March 8th, 2010 by Militant Libertarian
In a blog post on Nielsen.com1 earlier this month, Nielsen’s Tom Pirovano says that U.S. retailers are expanding their store brands and the latest, fastest-growing branding health claim is to label products “GMO-free.” This labeling, according to Nielsen’s numbers, is up by 67% in 2009 with a sales growth of $60.2 million in that sector.
In fact, healthy claims are tops in many categories of sales growth for store brands, including “Gluten free” and claims of adding or bolstering Omega acids.
Most of these store brands are large and are well-known chains, some known for healthy and whole foods and others more as being cookie-cutter boxes. Supermarkets have been certifying products as organic for in-store brands for some time, so the trend towards healthy claims and marketing is not new.
The rise of sentiment against genetically modified foods (GM or GMO) is growing, however, and market brands reflect that. Readers of NaturalNews are no simpletons when it comes to the dangers of GM foods.2
With genetically modified organisms and foods being linked to organ damage, crop failures, increased water usage, and worse, consumers are finally waking up to the dangers of these products.
Another hot growing trend amongst retail store brands is the claim of being high fructose corn syrup free, which gained 28% or $13 million in market share, according to the Nielsen numbers. This one may become a growing trend, and as Pirovano points out, many retailers are adopting a “wait-and-see attutide to determine if a claim has ‘legs’ or is merely the latest blip on the consumer trend screen.”
Further, thousands of organic and natural food products are now enrolled in the Non-GMO Project’s Product Verification Program (known as PVP). This is the nation’s first and largest system for scientific testing of product standards against genetic modification.3 This project includes some of the biggest retail names in the food industry and labels from the PVP will be appearing on retail packages this year.
As sentiment against the GMO seeds and products made from their crops grows, so too will the retail market backlash. Although government agencies like the Food and Drug Administration have refused to rule against GM foods, despite the evidence, the free market and consumer demand is turning the tide against them on its own.
As Shelly Roche of Bytestyle.tv says, “The great thing about this new report is that it shows how quickly the market responds when it sees a shift in consumer demand.”4
It’s becoming obvious that many health-conscious consumers in America are indeed voting with their forks.
1 – U.S. Healthy Eating Trends Part 4: Store Brands Expand Healthy Offerings by Tom Pirovano, Director of Industry Insights, Nielsen Co.
3 – Non-GMO Project
4 – ‘GMO-free’ is fastest-growing retailer brand claim by Shelly Roche, Bytestyle.tv