The demand for natural products has seen continued growth over many years with Persistence Market Research predicting the natural and organic personal care market to exceed USD 21 million by 2024. With the strength of the demand for natural products, it has become ever more important for businesses to be able to differentiate their biobased products to consumers using a trusted program. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) launched its BioPreferred Voluntary Labelling Program to provide this opportunity while also promoting the move away from petrochemical-sourced products.
The USDA BioPreferred Program has two main components – the Federal Purchasing Mandate and the Voluntary Labelling Program. The overall goal is to encourage the use and purchase of biobased products. The Federal Purchasing Mandate requires government agencies to buy biobased products from the 97 product categories defined by the USDA. Each of these product categories has a minimum biobased content level. Businesses whose products meet the requirements can apply for the BioPreferred Voluntary Labelling Program. This allows businesses to display the USDA certified BioPreferred Label on their product and is a way to gain a competitive edge in a market where consumers are becoming more environmentally conscious.
The USDA defines a biobased product as an alternative to traditionally petroleum-derived products and should be made from plants and agricultural, marine or forestry renewable materials. It does not include food, feed or fuel.
Businesses wanting to apply for the BioPreferred Voluntary Labeling Program need to submit the required product information as well as a biobased content test according to ASTM D6866, which is an analytical standard that measures the percentage of biobased carbon content as a fraction of the total organic carbon in gaseous, liquid or solid materials.
Skin and hair care products are predicted to have the largest share of the natural and organic personal care market in 2024 by Persistence Market Research. This is attributed to increased consumer interest in the clean label trend and health consciousness. The personal care product categories included in the Biopreferred program are summarized in the table below.
Beta Analytic worked with the American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM) in 2004 as a co-author of the ASTM D6866 analytical standard for biobased content analysis. The lab is not affiliated with ASTM or the USDA BioPreferred Program. Beta Analytic welcomes inquiries on how to submit samples for biobased testing but all inquiries about the program should be directed to the USDA.
ISO 17025-accredited Beta Analytic provides high-quality biobased testing using ASTM D6866 for various programs. For turnaround time or price inquiries, please contact the lab.
Persistence Market Research. 2016. Global Natural and Organic Personal Care Products Market is Expected to be Valued At US$ 21,776.9 Mn by the End of 2024. (Accessed August 2017).
United States Department of Agriculture. Date unknown. What is BioPreferred? (Accessed August 2017).
United States Department of Agriculture. Date unknown. Product Categories (Accessed August 2017).