Published: April 9, 2024

Category: Regenerative Agriculture

Nutrient Density Alliance releases guidance to support food brands seeking to respond to demand for regenerative products that deliver superior nutrition.

As consumer interest grows around the health and sustainability benefits of food, the Nutrient Density Alliance recently released guidelines for brands looking to substantiate nutrient density claims related to their regenerative agriculture practices. The Nutrient Density Alliance is a pre-competitive effort sponsored by the Soil & Climate Alliance and the Non-GMO Project that focuses on connecting regenerative agriculture practices, soil health, and human health outcomes.

Recent reports show that nutrient density, defined as the ratio of nutrients to calories, is an emerging eater preference.1 Shoppers, particularly Gen Z, are expressing a keen interest in the nutrient benefits of foods, indicating a shift toward holistic well-being. Yet, though their interest is high, their knowledge is low—a gap the new white paper bridges by helping brands engage consumers directly about nutrient density outcomes from their regenerative programs.

“Engaging Consumers On Regenerative Agriculture: How Brands Can Integrate Nutrient Density for Top-line Growth” provides practical guidance to help brands engage consumers around scientifically-backed nutrition outcomes made possible through regenerative agriculture. It includes actionable information for key departments such as marketing, quality, and legal to follow when developing brand information on nutrient density, identifying potential partnerships and data needed, and considering how to message improved nutrition to consumers.

“There is tremendous consumer demand right now for products that deliver quality nutrition. Brands leveraging regenerative agriculture have a prime opportunity to highlight those better nutrition outcomes, but uncertainty around exactly how to develop and market legitimate nutrient density claims has left much of that potential untapped,” said Tina Owens, Managing Director of the Nutrient Density Alliance. “With this white paper, our aim is to provide brands with clear, practical advice they can start applying today to share the nutrition story of regenerative agriculture.”

The paper stresses that brands can develop nutrient claims using established processes they already apply for other ingredients and claims without the need to develop a new methodology and set of processes. Established practices include representative sampling to confirm nutritional improvements, updating ingredient specifications accordingly and using typical certificate of analysis procedures to confirm ongoing adherence. The white paper outlines how these same steps can be followed in order to carry nutrition outcomes onto consumer-facing packaging in a way that will help their purchase decisions. The Alliance advises against creating entirely new processes to accommodate regenerative agriculture.

“The Nutrient Density Alliance firmly believes the health of the soil directly relates to the nutritional quality of food. We want to help conscientious brands share that story with consumers, not create additional red tape,” Owens said. “We hope to arm brands with greater confidence to promote the scientifically-backed differences regenerative agriculture enables.”

The regenerative movement includes businesses, farms, nonprofits, verification providers, retailers, and startups working toward a larger aim. According to HowGood, the number of companies adopting regenerative practices have grown by nearly 130% in two years. The movement now includes 79 publicly-listed agri-food companies with a combined annual revenue of $3 trillion, equivalent to a third of the global agri-food sector.2

The Nutrient Density Alliance plans to release additional recommendations specifically addressing nutrient density labeling for products derived from animal agriculture after determining clear USDA regulatory guidance. That work will unfold beginning in April. Brands that sell animal proteins are encouraged to join this pre-competitive coalition of industry stakeholders.

Click here to download the report.



 Organic & Non-GMO Insights April 2024