The phrases “all natural flavors” and “certified organic” seem to be popping up in shops and grocery stores all over the country. Many people are taking a deeper look into what they are eating and drinking. They seek food and beverages for not only flavor, but also for the impact they have on their bodies.

Buying organic is become important to many people in recent years. According to the USDA, organic products are available in 3 out of 4 conventional grocery stores and in nearly 20,000 natural food stores. They also make up 4 percent of food sales in the United States.

Concerns for health and eco-friendly practices have paved the way for this booming business. In the beverage industry, this is no exception. As consumers become more health conscious, the push against genetically modified (GMO) food and and beverage ingredients have led to the popularity of certified organic consumables.

‘All Natural’ vs. ‘Certified Organic’

These two terms can mean very different things.

According to the USDA, for food items to be certified organic, organic operations must adhere to a strict guidelines. They must “demonstrate that they are protecting natural resources, conserving biodiversity, and using only approved substances,” the USDA said.

Due to these high-standards, you know you are getting an authentic product when you purchase certified organic.

Food products labeled “natural” are still processed foods. The FDA considers food labeled “natural” to mean that the item does not contain artificial or synthetic additives.

However, this policy was not intended to address food production methods, such as the use of pesticides, nor did it explicitly address food processing or manufacturing methods, such as thermal technologies, pasteurization, or irradiation.FDA

Adding organic to your menu

There are many ways you can add organic items to your menu. One of the simplest ways may be through your beverage selection.

Reworking your entire menu might be a bigger challenge than you are willing to take on for now, but by adding beverages made with “certified organic” products, you are showing your customers your willingness to serve them more authentic and high-quality products.

Many brands offer organic syrups and flavor options for sweetening teas or for making artisan sodas. You might also be able to simply swap out a flavor you currently serve for the organic version of it.

Organic teas and drink mixes are also a good option for adding organic products to your beverage selection.

What would be the best way to add certified organic food items to your menu? Let us know in the comments.