The Paleo Diet LLC, the founding organization behind the corresponding lifestyle movement, has launched a new Paleo certification program. Based on the science from the researchers who established the framework of modern Paleolithic nutrition, the program aims to provide guidance for the food industry by codifying Paleo Diet standards and making them available to manufacturers, retailers and other partners.
“After years of development, we’re excited to announce our certification program, which is based on the original science of leading researchers like Dr. Loren Cordain and Dr. Boyd Eaton,” said Trevor Connor, CEO of The Paleo Diet, in a press release. “The goal of our certification program is to clear up confusion in the marketplace and help consumers make healthier choices.”
The Paleo certification program is based on the organization’s principle of encouraging the avoidance of dairy products, genetically modified organisms (GMO’s), grains, highly processed foods and legumes, among other foods. The Paleo Diet considers these food groups as a red flag since they were not part of the Paleolithic diet of early humans.
The organization’s new Paleo certification is deemed a “translation” of the evidence-based, peer-reviewed science of Paleolithic eating into a modern food certification process. The program launches alongside a rebranding of the organization, which includes a “CPG-friendly logo” and the motto, “Designed by nature. Built by science.”
While today’s consumers have considerably more label literacy than previous generations of grocery shoppers, the demand for easily identifiable certification schemes remains high. Food packaging labels are branching beyond traditional categories of organic and fair trade given the rising interest among consumers for easily discernible product information.
The Paleo certification comes at a time when the global market for Paleo foods is projected to reach $12.6 billion by 2027, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.6 percent. In the US alone, the Paleo market was estimated at $2.7 billion in 2020, with cereals, bakery products and snacks being some of the largest market segments.
However, despite the popularity of the movement, the Paleo diet has seen some pushback over its widely promoted nutritional credentials. Earlier this year, Danone North America published research outlining that gut microbiome health is positively influenced by a diversified diet that includes both plant-based and animal-derived foods, rather than a reductionist diet like Paleo.
Meanwhile, The Paleo Diet is seeking partners for a new licensing program, which will see it lend its trademark through full-branded and co-branded agreements. Available licensing categories include raw ingredients, prepared foods, meal delivery, software, services, personalized health care and consumer packaged goods (CPGs). Licensing is available through The Valen Group, the organization’s exclusive licensing partner.
“The Paleo Diet is providing much-needed guidance to the food industry,” said Jeff Dotson, vice president of The Valen Group, in the same press release. “Whether on-the-go or preparing food for family meals at home, we want consumers to know that their food choices are the best they can be and that the Paleo Diet brand and certification trademarks convey the highest levels of compliance with the science of the Paleo Diet.”