The word "natural" doesn't really mean much of anything but food and beverage companies have had a lot of luck using it as a sort of substitute for "organic" or, perhaps, "healthy."
But after legal challenges and complaints from consumer groups, Pepsi has decided to jettison the "natural" tag on its food and drink products. Instead, it will simply call them "Simply"
How's that again? Well, instead of "Natural Quaker Granola," you'll be seeing "Simply Quaker Granola" on the shelves.
It's simple, really. No one can complain about the word "simple," which means even less than "natural." The ingredients will, naturally, remain the same, so it's simply a change of a few letters.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn't have a hard and fast definition of "natural" so it doesn't tightly regulate its use, but in general it frowns on companies using the term if their products contain added color, artificial flavors and other additives.
Perhaps more significantly, consumer groups like the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) have been filing lawsuits against food manufacturers including Ben & Jerry's, Nature Valley, Kraft, 7Up and others, challenging their use of the "natural" label.
Last year, Pepsi agreed to remove the words "all natural" from its Naked juices and dropped its Gatorade Natural line of energy drinks.
But even "simply" may not be sufficiently vague. In 2010, CSPI sued General Mills over its "Simply Fruit" products, saying they contained more than simply fruit.