Natural foods, planetary success of varying significance. Study of 85 thousand consumers in 32 countries


Natural foods are finding worldwide success. While the criteria for distinguishing what is ‘natural’ are extremely variable, from one part of the planet to another. This is the finding of the large study being published in Science Direct. (1)

The ‘naturalness’ of food is crucial these days for most global consumers. Millennials and baby-boomers, or Generation Y and Generation X, little changes. The focus on natural food is growing and demarcates the straight line to follow, in the production chain and only consequently in marketing. (2)

More than 85 thousand consumers in 32 countries are considered in the studies reviewed. Which the Universities of Murcia and Zurich have submitted for systematic review. These included Nielsen’s global health and wellness survey, which in 2015 (3) had revealed how freshness, naturalness, and minimal processing were the food prerogatives most expected by more than 30 thousand consumers in 60 countries.


The perception of naturalness varies greatly, however, in the cultures and legislations of each area of the planet. Not all food that appears or is designated as such is natural. And the same guidelines developed in countries that have tried to regulate this concept more precisely diverge significantly.

The researchers therefore summarized the various ‘indices of naturalness’ into three categories:

1) The way the food was grown,

2) The way the food was produced,

3) the properties of the final product.(4)

The data essentially converge on the desire for foods that come from accurately traced supply chains. Distrust of GMOs, pursuit of organic (8 out of 10). Reluctance toward the presence of synthetic additives and more generally toward the use of chemistry in the food sector. Highly recommended reading.

Dario Dongo


(1) See
(2) Indeed, the reputational damage caused by too frequent greenwashing should lead serious operators to change paradigm from CSR to CSV (Contributing to Social Values)
(3) Nielsen Global Health, Wellness Survey We are what we eat (2015), at
(4) See attached infographic






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Dario Dongo, lawyer and journalist, PhD in international food law, founder of WIISE (FARE - GIFT - Food Times) and Égalité.