Increase in certification within the naturals and organic market

By Katie Bird

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Products, Organic food

Market saturation within the North American natural and organic
sector is pushing manufacturers to obtain organic and natural
certification for their products, according to a recent report.

The report, published by Organic Monitor, predicts that the natural and organic sector which is the fastest growing in the North American cosmetics and toiletries industry, will see extensive growth in certified natural and organic products. Of particular significance is the increase in the number of companies, American as well as European, who are looking to Europe for this certification, due to the lack of certification bodies in the US. According to the report, this increase in certified products is in response to an oversaturated market; natural and organic certification, which is still relatively rare, represents a way for manufacturers to make their products stand out within the naturals and organics market. In addition the report makes reference to the increasing demands of the consumer, stating that 'the growing number of pseudo-natural products is leading consumers to scrutinize the composition of natural and organic personal care products'.​ It is no longer sufficient for the words natural or organic to appear on the label - the discerning consumer wishes to know the extent to which a product is natural, leading manufacturers to respond with certified products. The French based certification body Ecocert, appears to be the most popular, as with its two standards - organic and natural - it represents the most flexible option for manufacturers, explained one of the authors of the report, Amarjit Sahota. In contrast, British based certification body The Soil Association only offers an organic standard, whilst the German based BDIH only proposes a natural standard. Indeed there have been a number of high profile companies that have recently released Ecocert-certified products in the US. The Ecocert-certified Care range by Stella McCartney, owned by Yves Saint Laurent, contains two products that are 100 percent organic, whilst the rest of the range contains between 50 and 60 percent organic ingredients. Furthermore, the report notes the upcoming release of Intelligent Nutrients' range of nutritional cosmetics that will contain certified organic food ingredients, which is 'expected to have a major impact in 2008'​. The report also predicts a continuing rise in fair-trade personal care products. The fair-trade certification is much more harmonized and products containing a certain proportion of fair-trade ingredients are allowed to use the fair-trade logo on their labels. However, Sahat reiterates that for at least the next five years organic and natural certification will remain the biggest factor leading to market differentiation, as the take up of organic certification is still very small in the market in general. Further down the line however, when organic and natural certification has become more common, he suggests that being classified as fair trade may become the distinguishing factor.

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