Mintel, a leading market research company, has found that in 2008 the food and drink claims classified as “natural,” including all natural, no additives/preservatives, organic and whole grain were the most frequently featured on new products globally. This news comes from the latest review of product launches from the Mintel Global New Products Database. “Natural” claims appeared on nearly one in four (23 per cent) food and drink launches in 2008 globally, a nine per cent increase from 2007. The “convenience” claim saw a 12 per cent increase in 2008 globally and “ethical and environmental” claims saw only a five per cent increase. Mintel says that the current economic crises may mean that manufacturers will continue to focus on natural and wholesome benefits. In the U.S., Mintel found that even more product launches – one-third – highlighted “natural.” Only 18 per cent of new food and beverage products highlighted “convenience,” while just seven per cent expressed “Ethical and Environmental” benefits. Mintel also noted that the trend of “low-fat,” “low-calorie,” “reduced sugar” aren’t as popular as they used to be.