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The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) new National Organic Rules go into effect today, with new labeling guidelines and a new USDA logo that will help shoppers identify those foods that have been grown, processed, and packaged in accordance with organic practices. Products with a minimum of 95 percent organic ingredients will be the only ones allowed to use the new seal.

There are four new organic categories:

• 100 percent organic.
• Organic (defined by the USDA as containing 95% of organic ingredients).
• Made with organic (products with at least 70% organic ingredients).
• Products with less than 70 percent organic ingredients are only allowed to list the organic items in the ingredient panel on the side of the package.
KC's View:
It would be our perception that the “buzz” about these new labeling requirements is a lot stronger inside the business than it is outside; we’ve yet to hear an actual consumer even mention the new rules. (Maybe we’re just hanging out with the wrong people…)

However, it is incumbent on retailers and manufacturers to create consumer interest by talking up the advantages of organics. There will be some resistance because of price points, but it is up to the industry to market and promote these products aggressively.

For more information about the new organics regulations, and how Phil Lempert is defining them for the consumer audience (which is what you need to know), go to:

www.supermarketguru.com.