Organic was expected to be the next big food trend after
"It was a big push a year ago," Alan Jope, global food group vice president at
Still, many food and restaurant executives said their companies are working on organic and natural products to meet demand from those who want them.
The US Department of Agriculture has had standards in place since 2002 for organic products, which are produced free of pesticides and genetically modified crops. But at this point, the term natural is used loosely.
It contended that a natural product does not have artificial flavorings, colorings, other synthetic ingredients, or preservatives and is only minimally processed.
Many consumers won't pay the higher price that comes with organic products, executives said.
"As soon as taste and price also match the desire for these more altruistic things like organic, you'll see much more movement," Hennessy added.
Food companies are also pushing natural food, bewildering shoppers. Terms such as natural do not yet have strict guidelines.