, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 365-374
Date: 15 Aug 2009

Naturally confused: consumers’ perceptions of all-natural and organic pork products

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Abstract

Consumers are bombarded with labels and claims that are intended to address their concerns about how food products are produced, processed, and regulated. Among those are the natural or all-natural claims and the certified organic label. In this study, two focus groups were conducted to explore consumers’ attitudes toward all-natural and organic pork and to gather their reactions to the USDA organic standards for meat, and the policy for natural claims. Results indicated that participants had positive associations with the terms “organic” and “all-natural” with exceptions regarding the trustworthiness of all-natural claims. Participants perceived the “no” labeling theme (no antibiotics, no hormones, no chemicals, etc.) often coupled with the all-natural label on pork products as identifying potential health and animal welfare risks. In response to the USDA standards and policies for labeling pork products as organic or all-natural, participants expressed confusion and had many unanswered questions.