The Natural Products Association says that its rate of certification rose by 50 percent during the last year, hitting a new milestone with the 1,200th product certification.
The certification body, which claims to be the first natural certification body specifically tailored to the United States market provides the Natural Seal program for products targeting the personal care and home care products market, together with ingredients for product formulation.
The certification body has been working to increase its profile in the United States, especially in the wake of a number of competitor certification bodies that are all working to cut out a share of this fast growing and lucrative market.
A competitive and fragmented market
The natural certification arena in North America is fragmented and competitive, with a number of players competing within this lucrative niche for a slice of the pie.
In particular Natrue and NSF International entered into the US certification market in early 2011, when they announced their intention to work together in an attempt to carve out a share of the market, creating an added competitive edge.
However, despite the joint venture, NPA has continued to grow and the seal is now carried 726 products and 485 ingredients that are carried in more than 85,000 stores nationwide.
The growth of the seal has been put down to a combination of both growing awareness of natural and organic products, combined with the need for consumers to identify products that are genuinely natural and not just making claims they cannot substantiate.
Enabling shoppers to identify what is really natural
“How can shoppers be completely confident that the items they're purchasing are truly natural? The solution is the Natural Seal," said John Shaw, NPA executive director and CEO.
"Nationwide, more and more people are making the choice to go natural for the products they buy. The Natural Seal helps them quickly and easily identify truly natural products for themselves and their loved ones."
At the same time last year, the NPA announced that it had certified its 800th company for natural products and ingredients.
NPA certified products are verified to fit the Natural Standard by an independent third party auditor, and must meet the basic criteria that they contain at least a 95 percent natural content, excluding water.