Product: 7-UP Company: Cadbury Schweppes Country: United States
The claim also appears globally, and in products at all price points and sold in all types of stores. Once restricted to health food and natural foods stores, we now see the phrase on products in supermarkets, from major brands. Carbonated soft drinks are no exception.
Following the trend towards more natural formulations in juice drinks, Cadbury Schweppes in the US has introduced 7-UP All Natural, a reformulated version of the popular lemon-lime drink.
The company has removed all artificial ingredients, such as the flavour preservative calcium disodium EDTA, so the product now consists of only five 'natural' ingredients: filtered carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, natural citric acid, natural flavours and natural potassium citrate. In addition, the sodium content has been reduced by nearly 50% per can, from 75mg to 40mg.
Within days of its launch, consumer activist group Center for Science in the Public Interest threatened to sue Cadbury Schweppes, on the grounds that the 7-UP product cannot be considered all natural because it includes high fructose corn syrup.
'All natural' products in general face a potential challenge, as there are no definitive standards. Unlike organic products, which in most countries must undergo certification either by a government agency or a third-party body, all natural products are not held to the same standard. As a result, there has recently been some discussion as to what constitutes the term, and this high profile launch is fuelling the debate.
With or without the controversy, we are likely to see the trend continue to develop in the future. Globally, introductions of products flagged as 'all natural' increased by about 50% between 2002 and 2005 across all categories. To many consumers, it is just one part of the broad wellness trend, focusing on the inherent goodness of a product's ingredients and an avoidance of anything 'artificial'. So-called 'clean' labels will be much more common in the future.