We recently announced that we were granted our second patent. The patent is titled “Information Management System for Product Ingredients” and covers our “method for deconstructing, analyzing, and confirming the information on consumer products using technology”.
In times of rapid change and intense competition — like in grocery retail today — we think it is essential retailers do two things: reflect on how they're reacting to shopper demand while at the same time, differentiate themselves from the competition.
Conagra Brands is transforming the way it operates to fulfill what consumers want in a smart, simple way. With approximately 17,000 employees and $11 billion in annual revenue, Conagra Brands is modernizing its iconic food brands, leveraging fresh opportunities and adapting to a changing landscape. In the spring of 2016, Conagra experienced greater demand for increased product attribution. This demand was coming from three different needs for the company.
As the summer sun finally triumphed over the clouds that plagued the Midwest all spring, the FDA released a timely proposal that may change regulations on a summertime necessity: sunscreen. In 1978, the FDA began instituting guidelines designed to keep up with the ever-changing research on sunscreen efficacy and safety. At that time, the ceiling for recommended SPF labeling value was set at 15, a world away from the sky-high numbers we see today. The FDA believes that these excessively high advertised SPF values are misleading to consumers because, against conventional wisdom, SPF 100 does not protect twice as well as SPF 50. Consequently, one of the main points of the new proposed rule is to cap SPF labeling at 60+, although the sale of products prepared with SPF values up to 80 will still be permitted as to not stifle beneficial research and innovative formulations.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is globally recognized as being at the forefront of food composition analysis for decades. This week they launched their latest compositional analysis tool - FoodData Central - bringing the USDA and the research community closer toward unlocking data unification at the federal level with reference to food and beverage composition databases.
Four out of five global respondents said that it is “extremely” or “very” important that companies implement programs to improve the environment. And 30% of consumers are willing to pay a premium for products that deliver on social responsibility claims.* Sustainability has a myriad of meanings to consumers. And there’s a broad spectrum of practices that encompass what it means to be sustainable in their eyes.
“Did you know that ketchup has more sugar than ice cream?” You may have heard claims like this thrown around, but they aren’t entirely true. Yes, most often, if you eat a spoonful of ketchup and a spoonful of ice cream, you’d be getting more sugar from the ketchup, but who eats a spoonful of ketchup? It’s a questionable comparison. Luckily, the FDA has standard sizes for different types of foods called Reference Amounts Customarily Consumed (RACCs).
We start this week with an interesting article that points to how search can directly influence how products are conceived (and category management). Yet another example of how we need to look to how changing consumer behavior will disrupt the industry. Following that, we include some articles about changes in the retailer space, and then we finish with some self promotion with an announcement of our product development with Topco, and how we're hoping to move the industry forward. As always, we hope this helps you kick start your week. The Amazon algorithm spawned a skin care line called Belei - vox.com A moisturizer isn’t just a moisturizer anymore. People have become a lot savvier, thanks to forums like Reddit’s /r/SkincareAddiction and Instagram, and robust media coverage of the intricacies of skin care. Affordable brands like Deciem’s the Ordinary have helped democratize skin care and increase ingredient awareness. As a result, shoppers are looking for hyaluronic acid, retinol, vitamin C, and peptides now — they expect brands to talk to them about ingredients. Product descriptions often include these keywords and tout the benefits. (curated by @joe100books)
This week we've got a bit of a deep dive video. Titled: "Tomorrow's Category Management Today, The Future of Online Category Management", the video makes the argument that most growth in the foreseable future is going to come from online channels and that this is going to change the way we think about Category Management. “e-commerce is shopped one item at a time; every product detail page must stand on its own" – Danny Silverman, Clavis Insight The video is a deep dive, lasting 45 minutes, but is worth the time if you have any interest in the future of grocery, and in particular if you are in the category management function. Of particular interest, I found the way the video discusses the difference in customer needs between the "Push" of Brick and Mortar versus the "Pull" of e-commerce, and also how Brick and Mortar is more of a compromise for customers who take the brand that is available on the shelf, whereas e-commerce becomes a more discerning environment. If any of this is true, the demand for transparency and experiences that support better decision making is only going to increase. Hope you get out of it as much as i did. Have a good weekend.
Sometimes, the ingredient declaration is just not enough to answer the long asked consumer question, “what’s in our food?”. Now, more and more people want to know what ingredients are and why they are being used in addition to the statement of their presence. However, it can be difficult for them to find reliable information. When searching for an ingredient, there can be an overwhelming amount of results, some of which are not reliable, but may appear above other more reliable resources. Obviously, this information is too much to print on a package, so it can be difficult for brands to provide this information in a manner that is easy for customers to find.
The news this week starts off with 3 more acquisition announcements that our team found particularly interesting in the news this week. The acquisitions point to the disruption that is taking place across the industry, representing activity by a retailer (walmart), a CPG Brand (Unilever), and a 3rd party solution provider (Syndigo). Following from the acquisition news the team found news articles related to non traditional foods interesting and they found and shared posts around pickle chips and meatless hamburgers - for some reason. Lastly the list of curated news ended up with an informative article about the challenges of large retailers making the change to support e-commerce. In this case it was a fairly detailed exploration of Kroger's challenges. Definitely worth a read. Hope you had a great Easter weekend. Have a great week ahead. Walmart acquires ad-tech startup Polymorph to capture more brand dollars - marketingdive.com Walmart has acquired Polymorph Labs, which offers a cloud-based ad serving platform, in a deal whose terms were not disclosed, according to a blog post by the retailer. Polymorph's founders, product developers and engineers will join Walmart Media Group and Walmart Labs. (curated by @davebyman)
We wrap up this week with a video that discusses the evolution of Category Management practice over the last 3 decades, and explores whether Category Management is working presently. “If all you have is a hammer, then everything starts to look like a nail" – Marc Childs, principal of Childs Davidson Limited The high level coverage of the evolution of Category Management is very helpful context for those that may not be aware of how we got to where we are. The second part of the video discusses Category Strategy, and how this, in differentiation from category management, can help to move retailers and brands forward more productively by giving category management some focus and guidelines, therefore aligning category captains and insights within a framework. It seems clear that to get to the future of grocery retail, there needs to be significant further evolution of the category management practice. It's fascinating to watch this space to see those changes coming. I hope this helped give you a slightly new perspective. Have a good weekend.
There are 4 key returns on investment (ROI) stories that we help our customers to understand before they make a decision about LabelSync. All can be found here, outlined on the LabelSync solution page. Today we’re going to dive into “Improved Operational Efficiency” to better understand how and why a CPG manufacturer would get a return on their investment in LabelSync. Who is LabelSync for? To start with, LabelSync is a best-in-class solution that helps CPG manufacturers and brands manage their product data for digital transparency. The LabelSync solution is for brands who want to finally solve their digital product data challenge, after years of struggling to create, verify, and manage product data that meets all needs. LabelSync is utilized for such use cases as best-in-class SmartLabel product data (there is an option to add on the pages for an all-in-one solution) but can also go beyond SmartLabel to power all digital product data initiatives.
This week we partake in some gratuitous self promotion with 3 posts published by some of the brightest among our team!!??!! The first is a post by yours truly, published in fooddive.com exploring how the consumer demand for transparency is changing the way we think about Category Management. The second is a guide to help brands with their SmartLabel decision making process, and the third is an exploration of how off-package attributes can change the way your brand is perceived in the market. The remaining articles this week are largely related to developments in retail and in particular e-commerce, exploring the space from both a trend and business model perspective as well as a user experience perspective. Hope this keeps you curious heading in to this week. Transparency and buying behavior are changing the game for category management - Fooddive.com The last several years have proven challenging for the CPG industry. With more emphasis than ever on convenience and experience, customers are demanding a personalized shopping experience. Busy shoppers no longer want to spend time walking down each aisle in the grocery store. That quest for convenience has driven many customers to buy groceries online. Nielsen and the Food Marketing Institute forecast that e-commerce could grow more than $100 billion from 2017 to 2025. This fundamental shift has created both a massive challenge and opportunity for CPG brands. (curated by @antonxavier)
Another video about Alibaba's Freshippo (formerly known as Hema) shopping experience in China. I'm a little obsessed about the new ideas and the connectedness of these stores. “If I have any questions at all about a product, I just scan and get the full ingredient list on my phone." – Alibaba I continue to get excited about the level of data competency that Alibaba displays in the Freshippo execution. In this video in particular the host talks about the importance of freshness using the example of how some fresh produce has a large "3" printed on the packaging so that you know it arrived and was packaged that day (Wednesday in the video) and is therefore fresh. The bringing forward and connecting of data competency, logistics innovation, and a digital shopping experience can truly change the way we shop. As you can tell, i remain very excited about the future of grocery. Have a good weekend.
It's no big secret that Millennials are more likely to purchase products from brands they feel a connection with. Even when we’re not actually shopping local, we crave insight into the lives of the people who created the products we use and consume. Millennials are interested not just in what you make, but how it’s made. In fact, a 2017 study done by graduate student researchers at the Fashion Institute of Technology found that 48% of Millennial consumers are more likely to buy from a brand if they know the people behind it, and recommend creating a “strong brand community” to target this subset of shoppers. Given the amount of research that has been done on the topic, it is no surprise that brands are clamoring to respond. But with limited space on product packaging, brands have had to think outside of the box, pun intended, to tell their brand's story. Hence, the rise of “off-package attributes.”
Everywhere we look these days, technology is driving change and growth. Phones are folding, groceries are being delivered to our doorsteps, and our parents are investing in digital currencies that may or may not be real. Not immune from change, Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods has added fuel to the fire of technology-driven change in the retail environments and the means in which we interact with food and everyday products. One example of this change is being driven by the GMA’s SmartLabel initiative, which allows customers to interact with a digital replica of their products in their hand via their SmartPhones to gain additional insights. As companies increasingly look to leverage technology to meet their goals, here are five questions to consider before participating in SmartLabel.
In last weeks post of "video of the week" we introduced a video about the "Hema" shopping experience - a new concept in grocery retail that is growing rapidly in China. This week we follow on from that with a video from Alibaba, the leaders in online commerce in China and their explanation about what the "Hema" stores are all about. “For Alibaba, the future isn't total domination of e-commerce, rather it is the complete digitization of ALL commerce that could be the key to saving retail. We call this NEW RETAIL" – Alibaba It is exciting to see this holistic vision being executed. It's also eye opening when we think about Omni-channel, and Transparency, and Digital Commerce vs Mobile Commerce, each individually as hurdles to overcome, we aren't really seeing the forest for the trees. A vision like Hema, takes complete, and connected data and systems to execute. No matter which way you look at the future of grocery commerce, it is, in the least, going to be interesting!! Hope you had a good week.
My name is John Veltri, and I am a product manager at Label Insight, responsible for the success of our joint offering, Nielsen Product Insider (NPI), as well as our solution offerings of using attributes for insight and category management. I’ve been with Label Insight for a bit over two years now, where prior to leading our product efforts for these use cases, I was responsible for other joint offerings Label Insight has with our connected partners. I’ve been working within the CPG, Retail and Analytics industry for the last seven years, and am incredibly passionate about using data to innovate and bring new offerings to market in this rapidly-evolving industry. In my day-to-day, I’m constantly thinking about ways we can make it easier and faster for our customers to realize insights about their category and see more value from using Label Insight data. This could mean anything from partnering with industry powerhouses such as Nielsen to integrate derived high-order attributes (HOAs) into a portfolio of advanced Analytics offerings, making it easier for Label Insight’s customers to join high-order attributes with other data sources in their data lakes, or making it easier to analyze data directly in our Explore platform.
Consumer-facing product data for household cleaners is getting a major overhaul due to multiple state regulations mandating radical transparency. At a federal level, household cleaning products are not required to make their ingredient list publicly available. This year, that standard will change for any product sold in the states of New York and California. New York, in particular, is requiring that an unprecedented amount of information about household cleaning products be available for consumers online. Not only will brands have to disclose information about their “intentionally-added” ingredients, but they will also be required to provide consumers with insight into the by-products and contaminants that may be present in formulations. These “unintentionally added” ingredients may be present in the raw materials used to create the product or may have developed during the manufacturing process. In addition to a list of ingredients, brands will also have to disclose the function for each ingredient, the Chemical Abstracts Service registry number*, and whether or not that ingredient is present on a designated list of chemicals of concern.
We kick off this week's curated news with a research project that scores a host of retailers in regards to their level of competency in online grocery. The conclusion of this report is that Amazon and Walmart are leaders in this area. It's interesting that this report did not include pure-plays like Instacart, Thrive, and Peapod. Following that, we include 3 articles from our in-house Personal Care Manager, Anna Thibaut who helped educate the team about developments in this vertical. Following on with the non F&B theme, we wrap up the curated list of news from last week with a post focused on how Petco has moved to ban artificial ingredients in their products. It's interesting to see the same trends taking place across all product types. Hope you have a productive week. In online grocery, Amazon and Walmart at ‘genius’ level - supermarketnews.com Amazon and Walmart stand above other food retailers as “geniuses” in online grocery, an area that has become the industry’s top growth catalyst, according to Gartner L2’s Grocery U.S. 2019 Digital IQ Index. The only two grocery retailers achieving the Genius level in this year’s index, Amazon and Walmart earned respective scores of 144 and 140. (curated by @john veltri)
This post was supposed to go out last friday but there was an outage with our Content Management System, so only able to get it out today. So a video, to start the week. We have often looked to China, in this blog, to learn about the future of Grocery as the "blank slate" approach they are taking to addressing grocery challenges is serving up some incredibly futuristic solutions. One of the most comprehensive solutions being Alibaba's Hema stores. “There are three pillars to its strategy, serving as a place to shop, a distribution center for online orders, and a robot powered restaurant" – Uptin Saiidi, CNBC These stores combine the grocery store with a distribution center for 30 minute online delivery, as well as automated robot delivery restaurants to pull in visitors. The experience is connected across all stages of the buying process through the Hema app, which enables the shopper to get information about products and supply chain, navigate the store, place orders, as well as to pay. It's a pretty fascinating to get a real life view into what the future of Data and AI powered shopping experience can lead to. The shopping experiences in 10 years time could be very different from they are now. Hope you enjoyed this one.
Last week, a few of my colleagues and I were given the opportunity to attend the annual Natural Products Expo West Show in Anaheim, California. Our attendance was strictly business, but it’s hard not to feel anxious and a bit overwhelmed walking into the 1,600,000+ square feet of exhibiting space at the Anaheim Convention Center. A mere 12 hours from the moment we walked in, that vast open space would be crawling with over 88,000 attendees representing over 3,400 unique exhibitors from around the world. It’s truly hard to describe the immensity of the show. Allow me to back up a bit and explain what the show is and how we fit into the equation. The Natural Products Expo Show, in its 39th year, is precisely what it sounds like: a giant convention where brands, manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors go to show off their newest and hottest products coming to market. If you are a self-described “foodie,” this is undoubtedly your Mecca. I could probably write an entirely separate article on the hundreds of different product types showcased, but I’ll spare you. Instead, you can check out the extensive list by clicking here.
Retailers have been quick to react to consumers’ increasing demand for product data transparency and have been somewhat successful in providing more basic product information. This is most evident in shelf tag health and wellness (H&W) programs we’ve seen implemented in stores over the past several years (think: those small tags on store shelves that call out claims like "organic", "gluten-free," or "heart-healthy"). While these initiatives have been limited to a set number of health attributes, they have provided retailers with a first glimpse into the challenges and opportunities surrounding product data transparency. Now, it is generally accepted that going from a limited set of H&W attributes maintained for a shelf tag program to addressing full product data transparency is a significant leap of capability. But retailers that take this leap will be able to leverage product data in a number of ways, across all use cases, and most importantly, in a scalable manner. Retailers who attack full product data transparency will be able to slice and dice the data to service such use cases as Custom Health and Wellness programs, innovative Category Review Processes, or to make their inventory more discoverable through engaging search and filtering experiences, to name a few use cases.
The numbers can be difficult to swallow. In the U.S., the percentage of children and adolescents affected by obesity has more than tripled since the 1970s, according to the CDC. Recent data shows that 1 in 5 young people (6 to 19 years) in the United States have obesity. There are a number of factors that contribute to this, from genetics, to metabolism, sleep, physical activity, and outside influences like communities, schools, government agencies, and the media.
Last week saw news come across the internal wire that seemed to paint a picture of the symptoms related to disruption across the CPG industry. The first article, by Google, discusses the need for Brick and Mortar retailers to embrace online grocery. The second article, explores a new partnership between Budweiser and Coleman Natural to brand fresh meat with the Budweiser logo - just in time for spring. And the third article talks about the challenges of Organic Farms as a result of loose labeling standards. All three of these posts can be linked back to fundamental changes in the CPG Food & Beverage vertical. The rest of the week in news focused on developments in the personal care and beauty product types, both articles indicating the changes in that vertical that seem to be following behind, although in some cases leading, the changes and disruption taking place in the Food & Beverage vertical. Enjoy the news and have a good week. How grocers should embrace online shopping - thinkwithgoogle.com The grocery category is on the precipice of major change. Today only 3% of U.S. grocery shopping occurs online, but e-commerce penetration is projected to triple over the next 10 years.1 This will create a major shift in how consumers spend grocery dollars as they embrace digital and expect grocers to do the same. Traditional grocers have a unique opportunity to capitalize on this shift. Their deep relationships with shoppers and ability to meet critical, frequent needs position them to shape new behaviors in grocery. (curated by @nicolemeyerson)
The video this week is an introduction to some of the challenges around shelf space. It's indicative of the hidden complexity in the grocery industry that is a real barrier to disruption, potentially protecting the incumbent players from some of the early digital disruption taking place in other industries. “behind each freezer door is a secondary market that determines what you have the option to buy." Phil Edwards, author There are pros and cons associated with slotting fees, but no matter which side of the fence you are on, there is no doubt that they have a significant influence on what products end up on the shelf. Not a new video, but a good one to think about when reflecting on how the industry may evolve as digital disruption and transparency take hold. Hope you have a good end to your week.
My name is Daniel Hawks, and I am the Product Manager for the Label Insight Explore team. We are the team responsible for the Explore data API and Explore web platform. The past four years of my career as a Product Manager have been spent in the retail and CPG industry, specifically working to help shoppers find the products they are looking for. In my work day, I spend a lot of my time thinking about grocery stores and looking at the hundreds of thousands of food products in the Label Insight database. My private life also revolves heavily around food. I love to cook, my family watches a lot of food shows on Netflix, and I’ve recently started reading memoirs of restaurant industry professionals. I am constantly searching for relatable analogies to help explain the work we do at Label Insight. I must have had food on my mind when our marketing department asked me to write this blog highlighting the work the Explore team has done this quarter. The Explore team’s primary focus is building solutions to deliver Label Insight’s product data to our customers. The two pillars at the heart of our solutions are the aforementioned Explore data API and Explore web platform.
It may be March, but it’s still the beginning of the year, which means people are trying to stick to their “new year, new you” diet resolutions. One of the biggest diet trends we’re seeing these days is the low FODMAP diet. In fact, it was even ranked as the number 9 diet on Google’s “Year in Search 2018” review (with interest peaking in July 2018). The diet, which originated at Australia's Monash University, was intended to help those suffering with GI issues (like irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS) by better controlling symptoms. These symptoms can include things like bloating, constipation, abdominal pain, and more. Discovering a diet that could potentially alleviate these symptoms is a big deal, because, according to the International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD), IBS affects up to one in seven Americans. So what is a FODMAP? This acronym stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, And Polyols. These are all short-chain carbohydrates. For some context, there are many different types of carbohydrates (long-chain carbohydrates, simple sugars, etc.), and each behaves differently during digestion and can impact people in unique ways. According to the IFFGD, it’s believed that these particular short-chain carbs may cause IBS symptoms because they ferment quickly in the gut (creating gas, which can instigate IBS symptoms) and are not well absorbed in the small intestine.
What’s new in Label Insight onboarding? We've been working hard to improve our already best in class Onboarding platform that powers our Retail Health and Wellness Data solution. Our onboarding platform is an integral part of our solution for retailers and their Health and Wellness product data. We work closely with retailers to ensure that we engage and onboard product data for all of their suppliers. To date, our success rate is approximately 90%, meaning that on average with our retail partners, we manage to get 90% or more of their products onboarded. An accurate and up-to-date representation of a retailers assortments is critical to the success of an effective data driven health and wellness program. Below you can find some of the new features and challenges we've been working on recently to improve the process.
Alot of news came across the internal news channel this week. Starting off with a little self promotion, the first three posts refer to content published by ourselves last week. The first of these being a study on consumer purchasing choices. The second is an opinion peice we published in wholefoodsmagazine, and then the third is an article about watermelon in the beatuy aisle that we worked with Good Morning America on. The rest of the week in news was represented by some interesting peices relating to the adoption of wellness icons in Publix and Target's new "Clean" symbol. This is followed by an op ed about the impact of Aldi on shopping in the UK, and then the curated news is wrapped up with an interesting article about AI and digital disruption and a final article about Kind Bar petitioning the FDA for more regulation - both following on from narriatives we've covered over the last few weeks. The industry continues to evolve at an astonishing pace. We very much enjoy following this change. Have a good week. Survey: 53% of consumers motivated to purchase by 'natural' claim - fooddive.com An online survey from Label Insight showed 53% of U.S. consumers would be prompted to buy a product sporting a label claim of "natural." The January survey of 1,000 adults aged 18 and older asked which loosely regulated claims would be most likely to influence consumers' purchasing choices. (curated by @nicolemeyerson)
Label Insight provides the largest available branded food composition database in the U.S., which has proven to be a trusted resource for over 37 universities, research institutions, trade associations and government agencies via the Open Data Initiative, which was launched in 2017. The initiative provides researchers with open access to granular food composition data not previously available to the research community. Researchers are granted the freedom to publish their findings based on Label Insight’s data without restriction. The database is updated daily, and contains information on more than 300,000 barcoded food and beverage items (representing >85% of all products sold in the US food supply over the past three years).
by Stephen Poppe and Brooke Bright. You’re ready to participate in SmartLabel™. Congrats! Now, all you need to do is select a partner to help make implementation easy and seamless. Sounds easy enough. But do you know which questions to ask to find the right fit for your brand? Don’t worry, Label Insight has you covered. Our first-to-market, fully automated SmartLabel solution -- LabelSync -- has helped many CPG brands go live with SmartLabel. We’ve rounded up our learnings and put together a handy guide to make sure you pick the right partner.
Quite an interesting news week this last week. We kick it off with an article talking about the challenges of executing a custom retail health and wellness program without experienced support - in this case across the ditch in the U.K. We then jump in to a couple of articles related to A.I and the impact this technology is going to have on the shopping experience. We then wrap up the curated list with a marketing battle between Clif Bar and Kind Bar that had the team entertained throughout the week. And then finish off the list with some of the new trends coming out of Expo West where we had a team collecting product images and product data. It's interesting how each week has a slightly different flavor. Have a good week. enjoy. Supermarket misleading shoppers on healthy food, say nutritionists - bbc.com.com Products high in salt and saturated fats are being marketed as healthy by leading supermarkets, BBC Radio 5 Live Investigates has found. The British Dietetic Association said stores including Tesco, Morrisons and Sainsbury's were being "unhelpful" and "confusing" customers. The Royal Society for Public Health called for an independent supermarket regulator. Supermarkets said they were committed to "promoting healthy eating". (curated by @brookebright)
This week we had a team representing at the Category Management and Shopper Insights Conference in Las Vegas. It was an exciting conference with lots of talk of innovation and creative ideas about how to leverage technology across the category management process. It was great to be reminded, at the core, what a fundamental role Category Management plays in the growth of the industry. “Strategic choices made by suppliers across the 4 P's will usually affect the 4 P's for the retailer," – Sue Nicholls, Category Management Knowledge Group The video below highlights the 4 P's of Category Management: Product, Placement, Price & Promo. Given all the exciting talk of technology and innovation at the conference among industry leaders, we thought it relevant to keep our feet firmly based in the fundamentals of the discipline. We also liked the fact that this video demonstrates how inherently collaborative the category management process needs to be. Hope you have a good end to your week.
There is no surprise that consumers are demanding transparency more than ever. When a consumer walks into a grocery store, they want to be catered to. They want their shopping experience to be quick, effortless and, ultimately, applicable to them and their families. So long are the days of shopping for necessity and just picking up bread and butter. Now, it’s about ensuring that bread is Whole Grain or Gluten Free and that butter is Non GMO or Paleo. "Having our dietitians collaborate with a retailer’s dietitians, we’ve noticed great success across multiple programs" Angie Kling, RD, LD, Manager, Food & Beverage Team Label Insight. With so many diets and trends throughout the industry, it’s important that retailers, particularly the dietitians at the retailers, understand how to capture the interests of all their shoppers. We know that most retailers already have a health and wellness program in place, but ensuring it’s differentiated and personalized is one way retailers can stay on top of the trends while still meeting grocer’s demands.
Outside of being so closely attached to product data in my role, about eight months ago, I relocated from St. Louis to Label Insight’s headquarters in Chicago. With it came a new set of regional retailers. I traded in Schnucks and Dierbergs for Mariano’s and Jewel, although I’ve still managed to locate my nearest Target for my extensive shopping trips that go far beyond the pantry. While I knew the demand for consumer transparency and retailer differentiation were both on the rise, I decided to dig into what 2019 and beyond held for some of my favorite retailers (and it wouldn't be a Label Insight blog post without a little data).
With the first quarter of 2019 coming to a close, we are less than one year away from the compliance date for large manufacturers to implement the revisions of the nutrition and supplement facts labels. "Label Insight’s database showed 45,691 active products have adopted the new nutrition label on the packaging," Thea Bourianne, Label Insight Solutions Consultant, MBA, RD, LDN The changes to the nutrition facts panel is significant for a number of reasons, but most importantly, it increases the transparency and understanding of nutrients like calories and serving sizes. The new nutrition facts label (NFL) has an updated look with a larger font for calories to improve awareness and emphasis on the calories foods contain.
A lot of news came across our shared news channel this week. And so we've curated some of the items we found most interesting below. To start with there were two pieces of Amazon news that were intriguing. One was a re-statement of the announcement to close the Whole Foods small format stores, and the other was Amazon's launch of their own private label milk products. Aside from that there's some continued news around challenges large brands are facing due to the disruption taking place due to transparency as well as an interesting announcement from Target about how they will offer up an online marketplace for suppliers to sell their products - interesting news considering Kroger and Microsoft's announcement last week about their foray in to Retail as a Service (RAAS). Hope you all have an excellent week. enjoy. Whole Foods to re-brand existing 365 stores - grocerydive.com Amazon owned-Whole Foods has announced plans to re-brand all existing Whole Foods 365 stores as regular Whole Foods stores before the end of the year. Whole Foods will discontinue its 365 small-format stores. Since Amazon took over the banner in 2017, nine 365 stores have opened and enthusiasm for the format has waned. Some stores that were intended to open as 365 locations have opened as standard Whole Foods stores instead, Yahoo reported. (curated by @nicolemeyerson)
I loved this new video. Malcolm Gladwell brings his engaging story telling to the story of customer preference clustering 1.0 which took place in the food industry several decades ago and gave rise to the explosion of SKU's across every category that we now see today. A must view for anyone who has a curious mind. “There's no perfect Pepsi, only perfect Pepsi's " Howard Moskowitz This story highlighted how clustering of early customer preferences lead to a revolution in how we as an industry sold and marketed products. We, at Label Insight, believe we're experiencing the beginnings of a new type of revolution led by clustering 2.0 that will take place in relation to the new attribute driven market. Good video and exciting times.
Sales data powered by Nielsen Product Insider Americans are all about the superfoods. And not only have we added these ingredients into our diets, we’ve found multiple ways to incorporate them in other parts of our lives. We’re well underway into 2019, but we took a moment to look back at the overall trends of 2018 so we can see what may dominate store shelves this year. Americans are cramming in all the health they can into each high-protein bite, meal-prepped lunch, or diet fad du jour. In fact, they’re also taking some of these foods and cleaning with it, and sharing the love with their pets, too.
Label Insight contributes data to articles often, sourced from our platform of more than 22,000 high-order attributes per product across food & beverage, household products, and pet. We're proud to have given a nugget of data to fuel the below Market Watch story, operated by Dow Jones, about businesses leveraging the on-package claim that they're women-owned.
We start this weeks curated list of news with a poignant comment on a post that was produced a while back. The idea of potentially inverting the category decision tree as a response to an attribute driven market is something we've talked alot about and so it was great to see Stephanie Halley, a senior Category Advisor for Mars Chocolate North America talking the same language. Aside from that, there was some news about the future of meat, and the future of scanning for allergies and another development in the Kroger and Microsoft partnership. We wrap up this last weeks curated list with a study about the impact the "women owned" attribute is having on female-led companies - we provided data for this exciting peice. Have a productive week. Product Attributes become key to unlocking growth - bricksmeetsclicks.com a comment on the article: "We are also realizing that laying out a particular category’s aisle based on the purchase decision tree (backward looking as the aisle is laid out today) isn’t putting enough pressure upstream in major CPGs to innovate against shopper NEEDS— occasion based shopping. To effectively meet future consumer demand, we need to innovate and shelve products based on how people use the product. This is the way of the future to be a thought leader with retailers." (curated by @antonxavier)
I previously posted a video on the new Kroger shelf tags here. The previous post was an "early impressions" video with some consumer interviews. This latest video comes from Geekwire via a forbes article and is a deeper dive in to the potential of the technology based on recent showing at NRF's Big Show 2019. “So, wait, you mean you can help me locate the groceries I want to buy with personalized signals of where they are on a shelf as I walk by?” some asked The emphasis in this silent video (i spent 20 minutes trying to fix the audio on my computer before realizing it's silent) is on the potential to interact with consumers in personalized ways and to deliver personalized information. Tieing together the shelf experience, with your personal hand held device and /or a shopping scanner also helps to bring the online and in-store experience together as well. We're very excited to see how this will evolve the shopping experience going forward.
A busy week of curated news came flooding in this last week, with much of the following news posted on Monday. A lot of regulatory news this week, with announcements from the FDA as well as content relating to sulfates in cosmetics. Some interesting news in the e-commerce space, with a large funding, some news about e-commerce growth. The news week finished up with an article about Kroger and Microsoft partnering around exciting new shelf tag technology, and then an opinion piece relating to the role of advertising in CPG and retailer relations. The year is starting to warm up!! Have a great week everyone. FDA targets illegally marketed dietary supplements - cnn.com The US Food and Drug Administration is taking new action against dietary supplements, sending warning letters to companies who claim, without proof, that their products can prevent or treat Alzheimer's, diabetes and cancer, the agency announced Monday. The FDA vowed to update its policies on dietary supplements, promising "one of the most significant modernization's of dietary supplement regulation and oversight in more than 25 years," according to a statement by FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb. (curated by @elizabethvitale)
An interesting week of curated news from the Label Insight team, with news coming out of Nestle about major steps they are taking towards transparency, coverage of the Super Bowl Corn Syrup debacle, to an intereting personalized nutrition acquisition around personalized microbiome. There's never a dull week in the food industry. Enjoy your week. Nestle speeds up efforts towards full supply chain transparency - nestle.com Nestlé today announced that it would disclose the list of suppliers alongside a variety of data of its 15 priority commodities, the first disclosure of its kind in the industry. This will accelerate the company's journey to reach full supply chain transparency. These commodities cover 95 percent of the company’s annual sourcing of raw materials. (curated by @theabourianne)
The following video comes from Graph Connect Europe conference - an annual conference drawing connected data experts and enthusiasts alike. This particular video is by Transparency-One, an enterprise software company for the retail and consumer packaged goods industry that has built the first B2B social network for supply chain transparency on ingredients, companies and certificates. Transparency-One uses Neo4J to allow its customers to increase consumer trust through mapping, searching and analyzing complex supply chains. "We're trying to address the average $10,000,000 per incident in product recalls" Julian D, Transparency-One At Label Insight we find the future of supply chain management fascinating, with such technologies as Block chain and Market Networks (such as Neo4J) positioning for a very exciting and more transparent future.
Is there any better measure of the mainstream zeitgeist than the content of the Super Bowl ads? This year the ads were specifically telling about the importance of transparency in our industry (and probably the more entertaining part of the day!). The following three commercials represented brands choosing to spend $5-10M for a spot to talk about ingredients. It seems clear that this represents the need for transparency and the pressure companies are feeling to provide consumers with more information, even leveraging transparency as a point of differentiation – and not so subtly, sometimes! Enjoy.
Sales data and visuals powered by Nielsen Product Insider The New Year serves as an opportunity to reset and realign against a set of new goals. A 2018 Health Shopper Survey from Nielsen states that 37% of consumers are following a specific diet - up from 35% in 2017 and 29% in 2016. Now more than ever, Americans are resolving to prioritize and become more invested in their health and wellness in the New Year, including but not limited to revamping daily eating regimens.
Each week at Label Insight several articles are curated from around the internet and shared on our internal communications channel with the aim of keeping us all up to date. This channel has grown organically, and is now a valuable resource for the company. We're reproducing the most "liked" articles here for wider consumption.
An interesting video came across the wire today from Chris Medenwald of Fieldagent.net showing the Kroger trial of digital shelf tags in a couple of stores. The shelf tags are a collaboration between Kroger and Microsoft and the video explores the implementation and consumer reactions to the shelf tags. "I like them a lot, they're really clean looking, vibrant and colorful" Customer reaction We have to say they look interesting and obviously the opportunity for engagement opportunities are limitless. We at Label Insight are pretty excited about them.
Unilever leverages Label Insight to become first CPG company to disclose fragrance ingredients in personal care products Label Insight, the market leader for product transparency, today announced that its technology was used by Unilever, a global CPG company representing more than 400 household brands, to provide consumers transparency about fragrance ingredients in personal care products, becoming the first major CPG company to do so. With Label Insight, Unilever is able to disclose fragrance ingredients down to 0.01% of a product's formulation on more than 1,000 personal care products via SmartLabel™.
The day has finally come since the Vermont GMO (genetically modified organisms) labeling law was overturned back in July 2016. The USDA National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard final rule was pre-published yesterday on federalregister.gov. While many aspects of the Vermont law were carried over into the federal rule, there are some noteworthy new additions, such as the foods that are subject to disclosure and new options for disclosure for manufacturers.
Working with retailers to enable incredible Health & Wellness programs has been in our wheel house since we were founded. We grew our business and technology by working with retailers to power their highly flexible, attribute-based shelf tag programs. We have been leaders in this space for over a decade, and work directly with leaders in the market. 2018 saw us continue to innovate in this critical space. In our shelf edge solution, we leveraged artificial intelligence (AI) to automatically rank attributes by category or department, providing retailers with a highly customized and scalable attribute solution. We also worked to expand our product types to include food, personal care, pet food, household cleaners, OTC medicine, supplements, and alcohol. Generally, most of our retail partners implement their Health & Wellness (H&W) initiatives with a phased approach, first starting with food, then expanding into adjacent product types over time. We're excited to offer them more options for future expansion, following the consumer trend in holistic transparency: "in me, on me, around me."
Category management at Label Insight The first part of this year focused on validating the hypothesis that Label Insight high-order attributes (HOAs) could be useful for Category Management (CatMan) professionals. We attended the CMA Conference in February, where we talked to Category Managers, validating that there is a future in using HOAs for Category Management. Throughout the spring and early summer, we then set to complete a full category review using our HOAs and worked closely with Gordon Wade, industry veteran in Category Management. The end goal was to publish a white paper on “Innovating in Category Management,” demonstrating how HOAs are essential to the next generation of the practice.
E-comm & Omnichannel at Label Insight: Here at Label Insight, we have been working with retailers to manage their product data since our founding in 2008. Recently, we expanded our offering to include solutions that leverage LI high-order-attriibutes (HOAs) to power search and filter tools that increase engagement in omnichannel experiences.
SmartLabel at Label Insight As 2018 comes to a close, we are reflecting on what we have accomplished in our product development of the Publisher platform. Our customers have spoken and we have listened, and we acknowledge the need for continued iteration cycles and hope to release updates in Q2. In the beginning of the year, we heard the need to have more workflow tools. We added in the thumbs up/thumbs down feature for reviews, which over 90% of our SmartLabel customers use. We also added robustness to the change log to make auditing easier.
Label Insight, the market leader for transparency, today revealed the top three trends for 2019 based on the consumer mandate for transparency. As discovered in a recent study by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), shoppers are demanding greater transparency and a closer connection to their food. Seventy-five percent of consumers are more likely to switch to a brand that provides more in-depth product information, beyond what's provided on the physical label. That sentiment is driving significant changes through the food retailing industry.
The final phase of the the category management plan is creating the Tactical plan and implementation schedule. Following the last phase of outlining the strategy and the category scorecard based on the category assessment, it is critical to wrap up the CatMan 2.0 process by detailing the tactics by which the strategy is to be achieved, and to schedule the timeline. Tactical Definition and Purpose Category management involves 5 types of tactics, which are the 5 kinds of actions one may take to realize a strategic objective and build business. Those 5 tactics are: Assortment - change SKUs in the current array Pricing - change the price of an item or segment Merchandising - change how or where the items are presented to shoppers Promotion - change the type, size or frequency of incentives offered to shoppers Service - change the level or method of personal service to shoppers for certain categories (e.g. service deli) Tactics are created to deliver strategies. Therefore, we have selected specific tactics to meet each strategy.
After completing the Assessment "what" and Assessment "why" phases of the CatMan 2.0 process, it can be tempting to jump straight into the tactics and implementation of all of the existing things you've learned. However, it is critical that category managers take their time at this stage, to document the Strategies and Scorecard that reflect the go-forward strategy for the category. The tactics and implementation of category management review findings can be far reaching and involve resources from across the company. Therefore, it is fundamental that the Category Strategy and Scorecard be completed as a quick resource to ensure alignment across implementation and over time. What should a Category Scorecard DO? Monitor progress to ensure that you’re going to accomplish the strategic objectives in the category plan Include regular reviews of the business that includes key performance indicators (KPIs) Measure how your organization is doing against pre-defined goals or targets What Category Scorecard should NOT DO? Your category scorecard is NOT the same as corporate monthly reports that measure overall business results. Below, we'll summarize the category review with an example Category Strategy & Scorecard for Jones Grocery's ice cream category.
Are you in the holiday spirit yet? We here at Label Insight sure are! We decided to take a look into our database to see just how winter spirited we are. So grab a mug of hot chocolate and cuddle up by the fire as we dive into Label Insight’s product database.
Following the Assessment "what" phase of the CatMan 2.0 process is assessment "why." In the previous phase, we identified 5 findings that will go on to inform the Ice Cream category scorecard for Jones Grocery. The assessment "why" phase of the process is a recent addition to the CatMan 2.0 process, which captures the need to include the perceptual and attitudinal analysis to the category. In essence, the assessment "why" phase of the category management process should answer the question, "Why is the category bought?"
Assessment WHAT Perspectives Once the Category Role has been defined and the retailer and category management partners are aligned the next phase is the assessment phase. Generally, the assessment phase is broken in to the assessment "what" and assessment "why" phases. This stage is where the CatMan 2.0 process differs significantly from CatMan 1.0. In the latter, the assessment phase was largely limited to "shopper facts", a behavioral assessment of who, what, when, where, and how is the category bought? In CatMan 2.0, the assessment phase leans much more towards "shopper insights" and includes attitudinal & perceptional assessment - effectively answering the question "why" the category is bought.
In October, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a statement about the concern of growing sesame allergies in the U.S. Today in the U.S, sesame is not one of the “Big 8” food allergens which include egg, fish, milk, peanut, shellfish, soy, tree nuts, and wheat – which currently require labeling. Sesame is, however, a major food allergen in countries such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand and all member countries of the United Kingdom and the European Union, and therefore require explicit labeling of sesame in products sold there.
Retail Health & Wellness @Label Insight It's that time of the year again where research groups race to get out their 2019 predictions. It seems the reports keep getting earlier and earlier, in line with the holiday music and decorations. This year there are some notable trends that are worth exploring, among them the fact that cannabis is now being considered as a next frontier of health and wellness ingredient - from illegal drug to health product? Wow, things are changing quickly. There continues to be a lot of movement in the health and wellness market. Most notable are the huge investments Albertsons has been making to take on health and wellness such as the Rite Aid merger which they believe will position them as one of the leaders in Health, Food, and Wellness. Lastly, health and wellness continues to make headlines in the store, particularly when tied to technology implementations such as the Kroger app. To get the latest curated news on retailer health & wellness for November read on and enjoy.
Attribute-Driven Category Role In the last phase of the process we aimed to set the Category Definition and Segmentation. We deployed tools such as Markov Chain Analysis, and clustering to help us to better understand the products in the category as well as how customers make decisions about products. All of which lead to a surprisingly innovative looking attribute-driven Category Decision Tree which almost resembled a traditional decision tree – inverted. In this phase, we build off this last work to place the category in context of the wider store strategy. We now need to determine what role the ice cream category will play for Jones Grocery, and as a result, how we interpret and implement what we have learned so far will be driven by this wider context, and the associated resources and priority that will be given to the ice cream category. Most importantly, this phase is about understanding how important the ice cream category is to Jones Grocery and how important it is to their shoppers.
A lot of interesting news coming out in November around E-commerce and Omnichannel. We've worked to curate and summarize the following important news events to help you to keep on top of what's going on in this space. Market dynamics: The market continues to evolve with growth in e-commerce being represented across the market in actual results as well as continued investment in e-commerce and omnichannel infrastructure. Retaildive.com: Walmart e-commerce sales soar 43% Walmart released their Q3 results with impressive growth across the board, but of particular interest for us is the considerable growth in e-commerce. "Q3's impressive performance continues to validate Walmart's long-term investment strategy, with solid revenue and operating margin growth, as well as online sales growth of 43% continuing to exceed the company's stated goal for 2018," Progressivegrocer.com: Grocerys directive - onmichannel or bust Coming out of the hugely successful Grocerhop event, this post highlights some of the key takeaways. Understanding your market is key to creating an experience that draws people to your stores. “Grocery has a built-in opportunity to be multi-sensory,” said Vicki Eikelberger, SVP and managing director of multidimensional brand experience firm Big Red Rooster. To create a rich shopper experience, Chicago-area grocery chain Mariano’s Fresh Market, part of The Kroger Co.’s Roundy’s subsidiary, hires its associated from foodservice, hospitality, healthcare and academia, explained Don Fitzgerald, the retailer’s group VP of merchandising and marketing. Supermarketnews.com: Retailer jostle to lead online grocery Amazon’s pricing edge in online grocery is narrowing as Walmart and subsidiary Jet.com have closed the gap. E-commerce analyst Profitero, in its latest “Price Wars” report, found Jet.com and Walmart the lowest in price relative to Amazon in online grocery. The study had Jet at a price index of just 0.6% higher than Amazon, while Walmart was 2.5% higher. International: Increasingly we're seeing implementations internationally leading the way in regards to the future of e-commerce and omnichannel. The article below is a great deep dive in to some of the exciting things going on in China. Definitely worth keeping an eye on these developments as a way to look at the future of e-commerce from a completely different perspective. Forbes.com: The future of e-commerce and retail will be written in china Alibaba’s high-tech food/grocery retail store concept, known as Hema, is expanding quickly. These outlets serve as walk-in restaurants, food and grocery purchase points, and warehouses for online delivery (within 30 minutes in a three-kilometer radius) – all at the same time. There are now 64 Hema stores in operation, with two being added each week. Already, Hema stores in operation for over 18 months are reporting revenues of RMB50k per square meter, up to five times what traditional offline stores can generate. Sixty percent of Hema’s sales are through the online delivery channel, making the stores far more productive, for far more hours of the day, than pure offline stores. User Experience: We have made the argument several times that we believe that the future of e-commerce and omnichannel will depend on the evolution of the user experience (UX). In November 2018 there was a lot of news related to UX evolution. Winsightgrocerybusiness.com: Target bests Walmart and Kroger in seamless shopping experience study In an evaluation of how well three leading national retailers deliver a seamless grocery shopping experience, Barrington, Ill.-based Brick Meets Click found Target beating out both Walmart’s and Kroger’s respective omnichannel platforms. Supplychainbrain.com: Amazon's latest crusade in the grocery delivery wars - thanksgiving dinner Online sales of food, beverages, soap, shampoo, pet food and other items routinely sold in supermarkets will reach $177bn in 2022, doubling this year’s $88bn, according to Cowen & Co. That will make online grocery a bigger market than electronics and toys combined. Progressivegrocer.com: Kroger launches voice assistant ordering grocery e-commerce The Kroger Co. is furthering its efforts in contextual commerce by adopting voice-assistant technology for ordering groceries online. Customers can interact with their Kroger Grocery Pickup cart via an action in the Google Assistant voice app – which can be accessed through iOS, Android and Google Assistant devices, Kroger Technology announced on its LinkedIn page.Activating the service is as simple as saying "Hey, Google" into the device. Supermarketnews.com: Customers were top of mind in Raley's redesigned website Raley’s has revamped its website with a new look and more personalization to provide an enhanced customer experience. “We understand that customers’ needs are changing whether shopping online or in-store,” Mike Molitor, vice president of e-commerce and loyalty at Raley’s, said in a statement. “Our goal is to make it easier and more compelling for customers to interact with online shopping and our savings program, Something Extra.” Automated Fulfillment - Robots and Automation: A hot topic at the moment are the movements around automated fulfillment as a way to solve logistics challenges and essentially viability of investments in e-commerce. Designnews.com: Next year let robots do your thanksgiving shopping Takeoff is partnering with a number of supermarkets to launch the robotic picking of groceries. Albertsons is in the pilot phase of the micro-fulfillment center concept using Takeoff’s artificial intelligence capabilities to pick and pack groceries with an automated system. The pilot makes Albertsons the first national grocer to implement an automated eCommerce fulfillment solution. Albertsons expects to begin testing the robots with customers in 2019. DCvelocity.com: Kroger picks cincinnati for first grovery e-commerce Grocery shoppers in Cincinnati will soon be able to order their fruits and veggies online, thanks to a highly automated warehouse planned by supermarket chain the Kroger Co. and its automation partner, Ocado Group plc, the firms said today.Cincinnati-based Kroger announced last month that it had agreed to order three of those customer fulfillment centers (CFCs) by the end of 2018 and a total of 20 CFCs over the first three years of the partnership. Opinion: Forbes.com: Needing to touch and feel groceries is like believing the earth is flat "A note of caution for those who attribute our low online grocery figures to consumers’ desire to touch and feel products before buying. That argument has been made by skeptics many times before – think clothing, footwear, beauty or mattresses. E-commerce, however, grows quickly as the breadth and simplicity of offerings rises. When digital ordering, pickup and delivery become easy and affordable, consumers migrate to these options. Convenience is an incredibly powerful motivator, no matter what the category." Zia Daniell Wigder, Groceryshop 2018 __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Want to keep on top of news and views from around the industry and the latest developments in attribute driven e-commerce & Omnichannel experiences? Subscribe
You might've thought you were in the clear to eat romaine lettuce after the scare this past summer. Nope – scratch salad off the list of dishes you're planning to serve, or to bring if you're the guest. Here's why.
Americans are cutting back on sugars: nearly half of consumers (47 percent) reported planning to eat less sugar or buy more 'no sugar added' products this year. Yet, a trip around the Thanksgiving table shows that hidden sugars are piling up, long before the pumpkin pie.
Attribute-Driven Category Definition After internal alignment has been reached (step 1 of the CatMan 2.0 process), covered in detail in this post here, it is time to define the category. This step was previously step one in the CatMan 1.0 process and can be considered a critical part of the process. It is in this stage where the category management team will take a look at organizing and defining the types of products that are to be considered in the category, and what sub categories of products it will include. Initially this sounds like a fairly standard step, but in fact, there are critical tools such as Markov Chain Analysis, Clustering and the Category Decision Tree (CDT), that are utilized that will have fundamental implications on the entire category management plan and in particular the category definition. It is therefore very important to evaluate these tools to understand how they may benefit from high-order attribute data and an attribute-driven approach.
Consumers’ minds are susceptible to subtle subconscious cues. It is estimated that up to 40% of consumers change their minds at the point of purchase because of something they see, learn, or do (Source: Huffington Post). For example, if a shopper goes to the store and gets a craving for chocolate, she will value options with that ingredient differently than she would on a normal day. But consumer choices are getting more complicated and more diverse over time. Brands and retailers who want to succeed in attracting and retaining customers will need to rely on data to make strong business decisions. That's where we come in!
As we work our way into the final quarter of 2019 we are excited to look back at some of the progress we made and to celebrate some of the content we launched to support the community. This post covers some of the highlights. Groceryshop: Label Insight was thrilled to sponsor the first-annual Groceryshop conference in Las Vegas, which was hosted by the same folks as Shoptalk. We mingled with CPG (consumer packaged goods), retail, and technology's biggest players, including Kraft Heinz, Coca-Cola, Albertsons, Publix, and Google. You can get a more in-depth post about our learnings here, or peek at our social media accounts (@labelinsight on Twitter and Instagram) for real-time updates from last week. CatMan + Transparency White Paper: Early in the month we launched our CatMan + Transparency white paper to an amazing reception. It was launched right on the heals of the FMI & Label Insight Transparency Imperative 2018 report and so we weren't sure we'd get as much traction. But it has been by far the most successfully received whitepaper we have produced to date.
Key players from up and down the food chain – consumer packaged goods (CPG), grocery retailers, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCGs), and technology providers – gambled – er, gathered – in Las Vegas last week for the first-ever Groceryshop conference. The conference producers filled 2,200 seats, primarily, due to past success with Shoptalk, their massive, retail-focused parent event. As the U.S. economy soars through the fourth industrial revolution with disruptive technologies of artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, the Internet of Things (IoT), 3-D printing and more, the conversation at the Aria Convention Center revolved around how companies large and small need to keep up to remain relevant, and to earn shoppers' dollars.
Attribute-Driven Category Management Plan The aim of this attribute-driven category management plan example is to demonstrate the implications of an attribute-driven approach across the CatMan 2.0 process. As outlined in the introductory post of this series, we will work through the 8 stages of the CatMan 2.0 process and at each stage, we will highlight where Label Insight high-order attribute data can augment the process for better results. To ensure the credibility of this example, we collaborated with Mr. Gordon Wade, Director Emeritus of the CMA, whose infectious enthusiasm helped to make the compilation of this work a pleasure.
In support of the launch of our Category Management Solution, we begin the new content series, "Beyond the Basket." In this series, we'll discuss ways to innovate in category management through the example of fictitious grocery store Jones Grocery. We'll document, in detail, the influence that attribute-driven category management can have on the CatMan 2.0 process.
We're excited to report that one of our founders, Dagan Xavier, was interviewed by the online entrepreneur publication BizcastHQ. In their conversation, Dagan Xavier discusses how the best innovative solutions are the ones based on actual needs in the real world. "A company should establish and follow a set of important values, and use those values to help get everyone on the same page and all moving in the right direction. One of the most important values is intellectual honesty." Watch the full video on their website here, or watch it below.
In 2019, we have a goal to work towards joining the thought leadership conversation in the area of E-commerce & Omnichannel. This conversation is already taking place on properties such as (to mention a few places where we see interesting content):
This post represents the launch of a post series that seeks to curate news, posts, content and activity on the topic of Retail Health and Wellness from LabelInsight and across the market.
Category Decision Tree One of the critical elements of the CatMan2.0 process is the Category Definition and the Category Decision Tree step. The purpose of this step is to agree which items are within the category and to outline and define the Category Decision Tree (CDT). The CDT is a graphical record that assists retailers to better understand consumer buying habits, and the decision-making processes followed by individuals while shopping a category.
It’s no secret that Americans have become increasingly more health-conscious across all areas of life. But we’ve recently found that the presence of children in a household often creates a greater desire to know and understand more about the food being served to the entire family. Recent research suggests that parents place greater importance on knowing more information about ingredients, nutrition, health benefits and other product information when deciding what products to buy.
This post kicks off a regular series to capture and curate news that we find relevant to the future of attribute driven E-commerce & Omnichannel experiences.
Happy Friday from the Label Insight team!! This post kicks off a regular series to capture and curate category management2.0 news that we find relevant to the future of attribute driven category management. ConfectionaryNews.com: Whole Foods campaigns for six emerging brands that rival traditional candies and snacks Whole Foods kicked off a campaign across the US earlier this month to promote six emerging candy and snack brands that offer healthy alternatives, such as KitKat. Label Insight comment: We found this one interesting because it directly relates to what an attribute driven market will look like going forward.
Shoppers in today’s marketplace demand convenience, personalization, and transparency. They want the products they desire, at the time they want it, and for the right cost. Shoppers are more knowledgeable than ever before about their purchases. They research online and have a complete understanding of the price, in-stock conditions, and materials that make up their desired product.
Growth in High-Order Attributes Studies indicate shoppers are rewarding transparency. Seventy-four percent of shoppers claims they would switch to a more transparent brand (FMI & Label Insight - The Transparency Imperative). As evidence, brands with digital SmartLabel pages that enable digital labeling transparency have grown by 10.7% over the last 52 weeks in a number of categories that are either flat or declining. “Most major brands and retailers are losing share, volume, or margins, sometimes all three.” Gordon Wade, CatMan + Transparency
“When digital transformation is done right, it’s like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, but when done wrong, all you have is a really fast caterpillar.” — George Westerman | Principal Research Scientist with the MIT Sloan Initiative on the Digital Economy Transparency bar is set The FMI and Label Insight Transparency Imperative report has clearly demonstrated that demand for more information in the grocery shopping experience is taking off. Almost all shoppers these days require more information in the shopping experience, and there’s been a 90% increase in shoppers who would switch brands based on level of transparency (74% in 2018 vs. 39% in 2016) which seems to indicate that the demand is growing in distribution and in intent.
“Transparency may be the most disruptive and far-reaching innovation to come out of social media.” — Paul Gillin in Digital Darwinism: Branding and business models in jeopardy Transparency crosses all generations We are constantly being reminded of the differences between generations, and in particular, how different the younger generation truly is. But when it comes to the demand for transparency, the recent FMI and Label Insight Transparency Imperative points out that there is actually little difference across generations.
You've heard it before: color has an impact on our mood and our appetite. Consumers have adjusted to years of evolving marketing tactics designed to draw shopper attention, build credibility, and communicate value. The problem is, not everyone can agree on what certain words mean. Take, for instance, "all natural flavor," "made with real cheese," or, my favorite, "made with love." While the legal definition of a "natural" flavor could mean a flavor essence or an actual juice derivative, a discerning parent just wants to know it's organic. Well, ok, but is it certified organic? We are here to help!
Transparency is here to stay. Recently the FMI & Label Insight Transparency Imperative report stated that over 86% of shoppers are more likely to trust a brand or retailer who provides complete and easy-to-understand definitions for all ingredients. And the same study demonstrated that 74% of shoppers would be willing to switch to another brand that provided more information – a 90% increase from 39% in 2016.
In the last post of this series, we discussed the need for a dynamic taxonomy to power search across the omnichannel experience. If this future was to exist, it would be interesting to understand what effect this would have on the concept of a single source of truth - the apparent holy grail of product data management. To explore this topic we will need to first cover where we are at right now in regards to maintaining a single source of truth for our product data. We can then consider the future needs which we discussed both here and here, with the aim of overlaying where we are at with where we need to go to see whether a single source of truth is viable going forward.
“One-third of American households have a family member who is dealing with allergies, intolerances or sensitivities.” — FMI & Label Insight - The Transparency Imperative Diet is the new norm
Static data standards: Over the last decade, there has been a lot of talk about a single source of truth and creating data standards to match. However, during this period we have seen data fragmentation at an unprecedented scale. For any single product, there are hundreds if not thousands of data endpoints all being powered by different data sources with different needs and different levels of accuracy and currency. To say that brands have lost control of their product data would be a dramatic understatement.
“Three quarters of shoppers in 2018 would switch brands for transparency - a 90% increase from 2016 ” — FMI / Label Insight The Transparency Imperative 2018
How Artificial Intelligence can make a difference at the grocery store With the advent of veganism, the keto diet, and the rise of severe food allergies in kids, it's no wonder that retailers and brands alike are looking for ways to stand out in the chaos that is grocery store aisles. Consumers have more choices than ever, but the complexities of modern packaging and labeling can confuse the decision-making process. That's where we come in.
Temperatures have started to cool, school is back in session, and Halloween candy is already being prominently displayed. You know what that means -- pumpkin spice season is upon us. In fact, Starbucks has already started selling its much-anticipated Pumpkin Spice Latte. Fans of the popular drink are thrilled they didn’t have to wait until September to get their “PSL fix.”
Scientists lead search demand When Label Insight first began working with the FDA in 2008, our core use case was powering more detailed search. Fast forward 10 years - e-commerce and robust search has become critically important and, surprisingly, FDA scientists are still leading the way in regards to deep search demand.
The leisurely pace of summer is over and parents across the country are preparing to resume their early-morning lunch packing ritual. But which favorite food and beverage items will they be packing this year? Research shows that more Americans than ever before are focused on avoiding sugar and eating sustainably. And with rising numbers of children struggling with obesity and diabetes, several organizations and researchers have urged parents to reduce the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages to reduce these risks.
The rise of e-commerce in CPG It is no surprise that e-commerce in the CPG industry is expected to grow, but you may be surprised to see just how much. Recent Nielsen Syndicated Data estimations project that by 2020 e-commerce will grow in dollar growth vs today by 49%. Furthermore when looking at ‘the digitally engaged food shopper’ Nielsen and FMI project that by 2025 e-commerce may drive more than 20% of food spend.
Summertime is upon us and with that comes popular activities like swimming, barbequing or building sand castles. But the hot summer rays and dry, summer heat can wreak havoc on hair, skin and nails. It's no surprise, then, that shoppers are looking for skin care products that will keep them glowing, moisturized and feeling healthy throughout the summer months.
Over the past several years, Label Insight has emerged as the industry’s leading technology company for product intelligence, driven by our innovative approach to product attribute data and proven by our rapid growth in market share, staff, and revenue. As we continue to evolve our business and innovate our solutions, I’m excited to lead the company into our next phase as CEO of Label Insight.
This post originally appeared on CustomerThink
Fourth of July weekend is upon us and Americans across the country are stocking up on their BBQ essentials. But are the ever-popular hot dogs still at the top of the shopping list this year?
This morning, Label Insight is proud to introduce the American Heart Association Heart-Check Standard Certification Industry View. This new offering provides data for the industry to better understand market coverage for Heart-Check Food Certification Program's standard certification, assess potential eligibility, and provide insights on why products that don't qualify are not meeting their criteria. With the introduction of this new View, brands, retailers, government agencies, and researchers can better understand the food supply as it relates to cardiovascular health.
These 4 Cs aren’t for carats, but regardless of cut or color, their benefits will give you clarity. What are the 4 C’s? Earlier this year, Label Insight attended Natural Products Expo West with a group of trendspotters on the hunt for what we should expect to see in the coming months and year. Topping the list of trends we saw were the “4 Cs”: collagen, coconut, chickpeas, and cauliflower.
It’s no secret that transparency totally transforms product content and shapes the path to purchase. 78 percent of merchants report their product content exchange system cannot keep up with enhanced consumer demands for transparency. Today’s consumers base their purchasing decisions on information beyond the standard product label to attributes like ingredient origins and composition.
Digimarc offers a smarter path to product transparency information Today, Digimarc Corporation announced its support of SmartLabel® and the availability of Digimarc Barcode scanning capabilities within the SmartLabel app. Announced at TransparencyIQ in Chicago, which brings together the foremost leaders driving product transparency forward, Digimarc is offering brands and retailers a more reliable, efficient and flexible method for delivering SmartLabel to consumers.
Label Insight Named Most Innovative Company of the Year by the American Business Awards® Label Insight, the market leader for product transparency, was named the winner of a Silver Stevie® Award in the in the Most Innovative Company of the Year category. Nicknamed the Stevie Awards for the Greek word meaning “crowned,” the American Business Awards are the U.S.A.’s premier business awards program.
New joint offering enables brands to quickly and easily meet SmartLabel™-mandated requirements while expanding their transparency story Label Insight, the market leader for transparency, and 1WorldSync™, the leading provider of product content solutions, today introduced LabelSync™, the industry's most comprehensive solution for product data distribution and transparency. LabelSync pairs Label Insight's high-order attribute data with 1WorldSync's unmatched global product content distribution capabilities, enabling brands and retailers to provide consumers with an unprecedented level of rich, high-quality product content.
As recent studies have shown, food and beverage-focused businesses benefit by being more transparent with consumers. An impressive 83% say they find value in having access to more in-depth product information*.
Label Insight, the market leader for product transparency, was named as one of Chicago's Best Places to Work. Issued and managed by Crain's Business Chicago and Best Companies Group, this survey and awards program identifies and honors the 100 best companies to work for in Chicago.
What is Quark? In March I was honored to speak at the Clean Label Conference in Itasca, Illinois on clean label ingredient trends. There I met Craig Sherwin who is the Technical Service Manager for Novozymes North America, a Dutch ingredient company. Craig was promoting an alternative to the conventional yeast-based lactase used in lactose-free dairy. He mentioned this being applied to a variety of dairy products, including a traditional Germanic product called “Quark”. Somewhere between the texture of a thick yogurt and ricotta cheese, quark is a creamy, cultured milk product that can be used in sweet and savory dishes, or eaten plain.
Consumer demand for transparency is reshaping the CPG and retail industries, changing the business from the boardroom down. In response to this transformation, the Path to Purchase Institute developed TransparencyIQ, the only conference focused on the revolutionary force of product transparency and its ability to drive consumer trust and brand loyalty. In its second year running, Label Insight is proud to again serve as the event’s Founding Sponsor.
In May of 2016, the FDA announced the new Nutrition Facts label for packaged foods. The purpose of the new label is to make it easier for consumers to make better informed food and beverage choices. During a recent keynote address at the National Food Policy Conference in Washington, D.C., Scott Gottlieb, the Drug Administration Commissioner, stated regulations dealing with consumer information — as well as labeling, ingredient and standard of identification initiatives — are at the center of a new nutrition innovation strategy.
Digital technology is responsible for reshaping many industries - but in particular, the use of big data and analytics has transformed the business of food. Last week our CEO, Paul Schaut, spoke about the expanding role of big data, AI and advanced analytics in the food industry at the Future Food-Tech event in San Francisco.
Hop to it: It’s not too late to shop for a better-for-you Easter basket With Easter right around the corner many Americans are gearing up for a big family celebration. According to Packaged Facts’ “Food Gifting in the U.S.: Consumer and Corporate” report, those celebrating Easter last year spent an estimated $18 billion on products including candy, gifts, food and flowers, with $152 spent per celebrant. Food and candy comprised more than $6 billion of consumers’ Easter spending.
Company to deliver combined image and data solution to the second largest food retailer group in the U.S. Label Insight, the market leader for product transparency, today announced that it has signed an expansive, multi-year deal with Topco Associates LLC, a provider of innovative business solutions for its food industry member-owners and customers. Under the agreement, Label Insight will provide high quality product images alongside the industry’s largest and most complete product attribute data set to better inform Topco stakeholders about the nutrient and ingredient composition of all Topco-procured private label products. The agreement includes all product categories such as food, beverage, baby, pet and cosmetics. Label Insight will also power SmartLabel™ pages, including images and data, for all Topco brand products.
Serving up Data Bites, One Slice at a Time March 14, or 3.14, is National Pi Day. A day when America pays homage to the mathematical constant π. Pi is that unique, never repeating or ending, fraction that many of us remember from geometry class -- the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. So it’s appropriate that we celebrate with food in the shape of a circle. Many grocery stores offer deals on pizza pies, fruit pies and even chicken pot pies. There is no doubt a pie for everyone.
American consumers are demanding more transparency about the ingredients being used within the food products they consume, with the majority of consumers preferring natural, socially-conscious food items. And they are beginning to expect the same for their pets, who are increasingly being viewed as an extension of the family.
Simplifying the ecosystem by providing a single source for high-quality product images connected to complete product attribute data Two of the most persistent challenges for brands and retailers over the past several years, have been maintaining consistent, uniform, high-quality product images and satisfying the demand for transparency, which requires more detailed product data, specifically designed to meet the increasing consumer demand for better information and transparency. To make the situation more complex, linking data and images has been a daunting process due to the myriad image sources, data sources, distribution points and consumer touchpoints.
Not only are American consumers taking a greater interest in the ingredients being used in their food and beverages, but they’re also beginning to care more about what’s being used in their personal care products. Studies show that shoppers are looking for products with recognizable ingredients and they’re willing to pay more for items using “better-for-you” ingredients. But as shoppers continue to vote with their wallets, personal care good manufacturers are continuing to look for opportunities to tap into the burgeoning “natural personal care” product market.
Now that we’ve shut the door on 2017and looked at trending diets this year, let’s look at the food trends that are heavily anticipated in 2018. Just Googling “2018 food trends” will bring up hundreds of articles in dozens of publications about what’s going to be hot this year. You can see for yourself here, here and here. We decided to dig into a few of these trends and learn a bit more about them – and see how prevalent they are on the grocery shelves already. However, it’s up to you to decide if you’d like to drop these into your shopping cart this year.
Valentine’s Day is here and consumers across the country are searching for the perfect way to show their love. Chocolate continues to be one of the most popular Valentine’s Day gifts and those indulging this year need not feel guilty. Buying patterns for chocolate follow broader grocery shopping trends -- consumers are investing in “better-for-you” ingredients and brands that provide greater transparency. February also marks American Heart Month, a federal event that brings awareness to the dangers of heart disease. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends maintaining a healthy diet for optimal heart disease prevention - this includes avoiding added sugars and steering clear of sodium-laden foods. Luckily, the myriad of chocolate options mean that shoppers can have their “heart-healthy” chocolate bar and eat it, too.
February is American Heart Month, a federally-appointed event to remind Americans to focus on their hearts and encourage them to get their families, friends and communities involved.Heart disease is the number one cause of death for both men and women in the United States, claiming an estimated 610,000 lives each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fortunately, maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle are two of the best preventions to cardiovascular disease.
Cruising the Mediterranean Sea provides travelers with an incredible experience. Visiting some of the most historically important cities on Earth, including Athens, Jerusalem, Madrid, Rome and Venice, just to name a few. Of course, the most important part of any day visiting these places is mealtime. The food in this region is so well regarded that the Mediterranean Diet is embraced the world over for its nutritional value. In this fourth and final blog of our series on shopping your diet, we look at the Mediterranean Diet and the nutritional value it offers to people who follow it. We’ve already covered Paleo, vegetarian/vegan and keto diets, now we’ll offer some insights into how the Mediterranean Diet might look when filling your shopping cart.
Shop Your Diet Series: Part III: The Keto Diet January is more than half-way over – are you staying committed to your goal of eating cleaner and/or following a particular diet this year? We hope that our information on “shopping your diet” is helping to alleviate confusion about what is allowed – and what to avoid – for your new way of eating. In the third edition of our series on shopping your diet – the second post was on vegetarian and vegan diets – we’re digging into the trendy ketogenic diet. Though you’ve likely seen this diet leading headlines in the past few years, it has actually been around since the 1920s. Designed in 1924 by Dr. Russell Wilder at the Mayo Clinic, the original purpose of the keto diet was to treat epilepsy. It lost its popularity in the 1940s due to the slew of anti-seizure medications on the market. The ketogenic diet is a low carb, moderate protein, and high fat diet which puts the body into a metabolic state known as ketosis. When the body enters a state of ketosis, the liver produces ketones which become the main energy source for the body; this diet is based on the premise that the body is designed to run more efficiently as a fat burner than a sugar burner.
The Path to Purchase Institute announced the advisory board for TransparencyIQ 2018 today. After a successful inaugural event in 2017, Label Insight is thrilled to be the founding sponsor of TransparencyIQ and is looking forward to a groundbreaking 2018 event. Michael McMahon, President and Executive Director of the Path to Purchase Institute
It’s two weeks into the new year and how many of us are still sticking to that diet resolution? I hope many of you are still inspired to eat healthy and finding ways to keep shopping for that new diet. While willpower plays a big role in how well you keep your resolution, but being armed with the right nutritional information about foods can give you an advantage, too. With help from Label Insight, your 2018 diet may be your most successful.
“New Year, New You.” Many of us greet the new year with the desire to kick-start a new diet, either to help shed unwanted holiday pounds or to live a cleaner, healthier lifestyle. In fact, most (67%) Americans will be prioritizing healthy or socially-conscious food purchases in 2018, according to a recent survey of American adults conducted by Wakefield Research for Label Insight.
Label Insight, the market leader for product transparency, today released the results from a national consumer survey of 1,023 Americans conducted by Wakefield Research on eating habits in 2018. The survey found that most (67 percent) Americans will be prioritizing healthy or socially-conscious food purchases in 2018. Their primary point of emphasis is cutting back on sugars, with nearly half of consumers (47 percent) planning to eat less sugar or buy more 'no sugar added' products this year.
The expression “the bread of life” underscores the foundational aspect of bread as a food staple, a basic part of any diet. You sometimes hear about people who can easily survive on only bread and water. But dig deeper into the nutritional details about bread and you will find significant differences between one bread product and another.
Label Insight, the market leader for product transparency, today announced it has raised $21 million in a Series C funding round led by Delta-v Capital alongside River Cities Capital Funds. These funds will support the company's mission to help consumers understand what's in the products they use and consume. David Schaller, Managing Partner at Delta-v, will join the Label Insight board of directors.
Label Insight, the market leader for transparency, and 1WorldSync, the leading provider of product content solutions, today announced a strategic partnership that will create industry's most comprehensive solution for product data distribution and transparency.
December 13th is National Ice Cream Day, so what better time to dig into one of our favorite treats? Though ice cream is typically thought of as a guilty pleasure, it turns out today’s ice cream brands might just be healthier than you think. With the rising popularity of trendy ice cream brands like Halo Top, Enlightened and Vixen Kitchen, we’re seeing greater focus on including “better for you” ingredients. Image via Enlightened's Official Facebook Page
Cold and flu season has arrived and soon you’ll likely find yourself strolling down the medicine aisle at your local supermarket. But solutions to those common viruses and their pesky symptoms can actually be found throughout the store. A number of widely known food ingredients are proven to be effective at preventing and treating colds and flu.
Data science is fast becoming a core enabler of business innovation and competition. Given its notability , you would think that the successful use of data science within companies would be on the rise, but a report from MIT says no. Surprisingly, the percentage of companies claiming competitive advantage from their data science initiatives dropped from a high of almost 70% in 2012 to about 50% in 2016. What’s going on?
TransparencyIQ, the breakthrough event focused on the impact of transparency and best practices, took place October 18th and 19th in Chicago, Illinois. After a hearty breakfast, Label Insight's CMO, Patrick Moorhead, took the attendees through an interactive quiz to test their TransparencyIQ. Attendees answered open-ended questions about their transparency journey as well as quiz questions about transparency and consumer expectations.