Food Revolution: The digital demand for product transparency
Earlier this year, Label Insight released the Food Revolution study after surveying 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’re breaking down the study piece-by-piece in our Food Revolution blog series. In Part 1 we learned how lack of product information leads to confusion and distrust, in Part 2 we reviewed consumers expectations for transparency, and how consumers don’t believe brands are delivering. In Part 3 we took a deep dive into the way transparency affects shopper decision making and fosters loyalty. In the 4th and final post in our Food Revolution series we’ll explore the opportunity for brands to go beyond the product label and offer more information digitally to engage with consumers across multiple channels.
Learning 4: To satisfy customer demand for transparency and engage with consumers brands should offer additional product information digitally.
As we learned in the previous posts in our Food Revolution series, product transparency goes beyond providing ingredient information on a physical label. In the age of constant connectivity, there is an opportunity for brands to go beyond the product label and offer information digitally to engage with consumers across multiple channels.
When asked what would make grocery shopping easier, consumers ranked digital labels that offer extended product information the highest, followed by click-and-collect offerings. More than two in five indicated that they’d be interested in a mobile app that offered transparent product information.
The digital medium may offer an answer for brands looking to capture a greater share of the market. In our last post we learned that 37 percent of consumers would switch brands if another brand shared more detailed product information. These respondents are nearly twice as likely to find value in digital labels that display nutritional information and digital labels that contain recipes.
Grocery e-commerce also presents an opportunity for brands and retailers to offer additional product information and foster long-term loyalty. Of those surveyed who have previously shopped online for their groceries, four in five would like to see recommendations for similar products based on nutritional and ingredient information and more than a third (36 percent) would like the ability to filter by specific attributes or diets (paleo, vegan, recyclable packaging, etc).
Let’s Get Digital
Brands are in a position to develop long-term relationships with current customers while also capturing market share from competition by offering complete product transparency - and doing so in a digital format. This study reveals that consumers will remain loyal to brands that provide easy access to trustworthy product information, however, offering this information at granular level is often easier said than done for brands.
To help with this effort, Label Insight’s product data engine transforms basic product data into smart attributes, by simply dragging and dropping a package flat. Label Insight offers an unmatched level of data, generating 15,000 attributes -- such as nutrients and allergens - per product.
With complete and granular product data, brands can achieve the following:
Creating a Better Online Shopping Experience
As more and more consumers take their grocery shopping online, deep product attribution enhances the online shopping experience, allowing consumers to shop as effectively online as they do in-store. Deep product attribution allows retailers to provide shoppers with answers to any product search queries they seek. For instance shoppers could easily filter their product searches to meet dietary requirements and preferences such as nut-free, gluten-free, low sodium or paleo.
It also allows online retailers to provide online shoppers with recommendations based on their favorite products. If an online shopper searches for dairy-free cheese, a customized recommendation engine fueled by granular product data can recommend other dairy-free products — whether by marketing claims, ingredients or nutrient content — driving purchases and building trust along the way. Deep product attribution provides an incredible opportunity for brands and retailers to enhance the online shopping experience, gain market share and create long term loyalty.
Providing Product Information in a Digital Format
Working with SmartLabel is a great opportunity for brands to provide the transparency consumers seek. The launch of the SmartLabel transparency initiative by the Grocery Manufacturers Association and Food Marketing Institute, gives consumers easy, instant access to detailed product information. Through online landing pages that are accessible by smartphones, tablets and desktops, consumers can find product information organized in a consistent manner, including: allergens, ingredient sourcing practices, third-party certifications, social compliance and sustainability programs, usage instructions, advisories and safe handling instructions, and company and brand information. Going beyond the product label makes sharing additional product information with consumers more attainable and sustainable for brands and retailers. The result is more information and, consequently, more transparency.
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