The Nature of “Natural” Advertising Claims

21 July 2021
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Key takeaways:
  • Advertising a product as “natural” or “all natural” is appealing to consumers, but brands must proceed with caution because such claims have resulted in class action and regulatory liability for unwary brand owners. The overarching problem: the law is unclear and undefined as to what it truly means for a product or ingredient to be “natural.”
  • In the absence of clear legal standards, courts and regulatory bodies have filled in some of the gaps to provide guidance to brand owners, but the guidance is not always consistent or well developed.
  • What is a brand to do? Best practices for minimizing the risk of making misleading “natural” claims include proactively monitoring industry and regulatory developments, developing substantiation for “natural” claims prior to making them, regularly auditing ingredient lists and production methods, clearly defining or limiting the scope of “natural” claims and consulting with outside counsel while developing claims.