NATURAL…. Is it to be or not to be?

Natural is a confusing issue at best. From a legal and regulatory point of view. But probably even more so from a consumer-perception point of view. Do they not use natural, ecological, biological , organic and even holistic as adjectives to describe one and the same: products and ingredients not too much tampered with?

And does the petfood industry not add to the confusion in trying to segment a natural proposition into hardly meaningful and hardly understandable sub-segments?

As long as there is no internationally agreed definition of natural the confusion will remain. And, confusion sofar rarely led to broad acceptance (of products) by consumers.

An international agreement will be essential. The world (and not 1 continent) is becoming the marketplace and free movement of goods is in the best interest of all stakeholders involved. And these include the end-buyer!

What keeps the industry from paying more attention to and putting more emphasis on natural?

Agreed, partly the hesitation and confusion stems from as yet unclear regulations and legislation. And certainly also from the lack of availability of ingredients that meet the required standards.

Couldn't it however be such that - if the industry consciously makes natural part of its development-plans – the ingredient-suppliers will find ways (obviously not overnight) to meet the industry's qualitative and quantitative demands??

Is natural a mere fad that will blow over? Evidently it will be the end-buyer who takes the final decision. But don't we all see around us trends (for the moment primarily in the human food sector ) that seem irreversible?

Also because consumers become increasingly ingredient-sceptical and environment-conscious!

And doesn't antropomorphism lead to a further "humanisation" of pets?

If approached in the right way, i.e. with determination and conviction, companies can build a healthy, sustainable and long-lasting "natural" business.

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