Tea Is Tops with Natural Foods Shoppers

Flowering Tiffany Rose Melody Green Tea - naturally good? (ETS image)
Flowering Tiffany Rose Melody Green Tea – naturally good? (ETS image)

What are “natural” foods? Hmmm. If there was ever a term that brought to mind the phrase “buyer beware,” it’s that one. There’s apparently no clear definition for “natural,” as it relates to food, but that doesn’t keep grocery shoppers from gravitating toward foods that are perceived as such.

As one tea news site reported recently, tea is “among the four most often purchased natural-food items.” That’s according to Shopping for Health 2012, the 20th in a series of yearly studies released by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and Prevention, and published by Rodale Inc.

The study was actually published in mid-2012 and revealed that shoppers are increasingly interested in foods that are perceived as healthy, or to be more specific, “32 percent of shoppers reporting that they are buying more foods based on nutritional components versus last year.”

As the title of this article suggests, tea is one of the most popular natural foods purchases, ranked third after the top-ranked cheese (27%) and cereal and yogurt, which were tied for second place (23%). Twenty percent of shoppers included tea among their purchases of natural foods. Green tea was also one of the highest ranked items in the previous year’s study, with 43% of buyers picking up some.

But of course not all tea is created equal – whether it’s natural or not. The good people at Prevention themselves were kind enough to point this out in an article a little while back, titled 7 “100% Natural” Foods That Aren’t. One of the seven foods they called attention to was none other than bottled iced tea. More recently, a study reported in the New York Times, as well as various other outlets, reported that bottled teas came up short in such health-giving properties as catechins and EGCG. The good news for fans of the loose leaf varieties of green tea – they contain much more of these aforementioned components than the bottled stuff.

While I may have already said “buyer beware” earlier in this article, sometimes it’s a good piece of advice and one that bears repeating every now and then.

See more of William I. Lengeman’s articles here.

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