As with all types of high-profile public misfortune, a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigation is something many natural products companies may think can only happen to other firms. Indeed, it is often the so-called “bad players” or obvious cases of false advertising that gain notoriety when enforcement actions are taken. But even well-intentioned companies may run afoul of FTC if they aren’t careful about the content of their advertising. While much remains the same in this arena, there are several new enforcement patterns to be aware of, as well as several forces to keep tabs on that may well shape the agency’s actions in the near future.
Many regulatory changes are percolating in the natural products industry. Leaders from several industry associations and nonprofits offer some insight about what could be in store for companies in the near future.
For years, WholeFoods Magazine has shined a light on natural products companies that market some of the country’s best top-selling products and has honored them with a Natural Choice Award. This year is no different. Once again, we are proud to honor some of the many excellent products that the natural products industry calls its own.
Contract manufacturing. Did reading that phrase make you picture a buzzing room filled with shiny silver equipment? Or, did you envision a team of innovators that can help you turn an idea into reality (or an established product into something even better)? Well, the latter is closer to what contract manufacturing today is all about.
In the natural food flavors and colors market, staying current and diversifying is the name of the game. Only the strongest, most palatable natural flavors and the brightest, most appealing colors survive, and jumping on the right bandwagon can be just as important as forging bold, new paths.
The average raw materials supplier has a lot of responsibility on its shoulders. Before they can say “mission accomplished,” they must be sure they are investing in the right ingredients, sourcing those ingredients from the right people, testing them for quality and purity with the most stringent and up-to-date methods available, and doing it all while remaining in strict compliance with current manufacturing standards and industry regulations. Then, they have to keep their prices low enough for finished product manufacturers to be interested.
According to Pike Research, sustainable packaging will comprise nearly a third of the packaging market by 2014, which equates to about a $170-billion industry (1). This growth is significant, considering that sustainable packaging had just a 21% market share in 2009.