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Kira Karapetian

By: Kira Karapetian on July 13th, 2016

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Food Revolution: Consumers expect transparency, don’t think brands are delivering

Trends & Research

Label Insight was founded with the mission of helping consumers understand what’s in the products they use and consume. To explore consumer demand for product transparency and how it affects CPG brands and retailers, Label Insight surveyed more than 1,500 consumers to determine how they make food choices, shop and what they expect from brands when it comes to product information. We officially launched our Food Revolution survey in late June. In our Food Revolution blog series we’re breaking down the study piece-by-piece.

In Part 1 of our series we explored Consumer Confusion and Distrust. In Part 2, we’ll explore what consumers expect from brands.

Learning 2: Consumers expect transparency but don’t think brands are delivering.

As we shared in our first post, consumers feel as though they’re in the dark about what’s really in the products they use and consume. Yet, our study shows that nearly all respondents (94 percent) say it is important to them that the brands and manufacturers they buy from are transparent about what is in their food and how it is made. And, more than two-thirds (83 percent) say they would find value in having access to more in-depth product information. (tweet this stat!) 

Despite consumers valuing transparency, a mere 12 percent ranked brands as their most trusted resource for information about what is in their own food. Still, 67 percent of consumers believe it is the brand or manufacturer’s responsibility to provide them with this information.

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Download the entire study now!

Taking Back Product Messaging

Let's break that down. The majority of consumers feel that it's important that the brands they buy from are transparent about what's in their food and how it's made, and they want additional information beyond the physical label. They believe the brand should be source of that information, yet, lack of trust and incomplete information have them looking elsewhere. This is a huge miss for brands. As consumers look elsewhere for product information, brands are losing control of their messaging. (tweet this!) Brands are opening themselves up to consumers relying on 3rd party sources - including brand detractors - for their information. 

Providing product transparency presents an opportunity for brands to emerge as the trusted resource consumers expect, and to take back control of their messaging. And long-term investments in product transparency initiatives return gains in consumer trust & loyalty, as well as market share.

A great first step in providing transparency to consumers is through participation in the SmartLabel™ transparency initiative. This initiative gives brands a new touch point to engage with consumers and provide them with all of the information they seek in an easily accessible and consistent format.

Label Insight makes the SmartLabel process quick and easy for brands, so if you’re ready to dive in, let us know!

Next up, we’ll explore the role transparency plays in shopper decision making. Stay tuned for Part 3 next week or download the entire study today!