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 morning, we’re excited to announce that Nielsen and Label Insight are expanding the Nielsen Product Insider solution with the ability to measure sales of ingredients and U.S. government-regulated attributes for non-food categories, including personal care, pet food, over-the-counter medicine and vitamins/supplements.
In the past few weeks, I've been in Hong Kong, London, and Chicago and have started to notice the radical change in breakfast buffets. In place of cereal, I now see chai+blueberry smoothies. On room service menus, traditional iceberg lettuce salads have been replaced with kale salads and quinoa power-bowls.
Over the past few years we have seen an unprecedented rise in consumer demand for transparency, with many consumers going so far as to switching from their preferred brands in favor of brands which provide more transparency. You can observe this phenomenon any time you go to the grocery store. Take a moment to watch people shop. See how they study products before putting them in their basket. They are trying to understand: "What is this ingredient?" "What does cage-free mean?" "Does this product match my ethics? Was it tested on animals?".
As my colleague, Anton Xavier, discussed in a previous post, 2014 saw an 8.5% increase in online sales for Black Friday sales. Concurrently, nearly half of online traffic came from mobile devices, 46.7% to be exact, and accounted for over 25% of online sales for 2014. It is due to these trends in mobile and ecommerce that our customers are increasingly interested in our data capabilities and technology. Retailers are looking to allow their online shoppers to filter, sort and group products in an increasing number of ways to account for the proliferation of consumer trends. Along with the desire to display and provide increasing amounts of product information online, retailers and manufacturers are exploring how to optimize their mobile applications. Our customers are looking to offer the maximum amount of information while taking into consideration the limited space on mobile phone screens.
Some of the biggest demand for our capabilities here at Label Insight comes from the manufacturers side of the industry. Many might think manufacturers actually make a point to omit product data from their products but in fact, there is a growing trend of transparency from this group. “On-boarding,” or submitting product information to Label Insight allows manufacturers to keep their product data up-to-date and accessible to their entire teams, retailers and consumers and is one of the most fashionable actions in the industry today. Manufacturers feel pressure to expose product data and view it as an opportunity to control the source.
We often get asked why our job is so hard and why more people aren’t doing it or haven’t done it yet. Product Data analysis and food labeling can’t be that hard, can it? Our best customers are those who’ve tried our job but quickly realize it’s more challenging than they thought. While it might seem counterintuitive, large manufacturers actually have the hardest time doing our job. These companies are geniuses at getting people into the retailers and buying their products, but their core competency is not data. In fact, big companies, by nature of being big, require an immense level of coordination to perform the same level of data analysis that defines our operations here at Label Insight. Often these companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars to implement a central approach to data analysis. By contrast, a company like Label Insight can do the job at a lower cost since we have already polished the processed and set the system in motion. We call this Speed to Insight. Large companies throughout the country are craving such speed.
Transparency Initiatives are the Talk of the Industry At the center of nearly every conversation I have with our customers and other leaders in the industry is the topic of Product Data Transparency Initiatives and how to give consumers easy access to detailed ingredient information for thousands of products, namely Consumer Facing Product Data (CFPD). As we have discussed in a previous blog post discussing the driving forces of Why the Demand, taking a holistic approach with CFPD can lead to easy, instant access to information to enable the transparency and personalization the industry is craving.