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Highlights From the First Ever TransparencyIQ Conference

Posted by Stephanie Casstevens on October 19, 2017

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. 

When asked to describe their transparency journey in one word, attendees' most common answers included beginning, evolving, exciting and learning. After this, attendees were quizzed on questions such as "after reading a product's label, how informed are consumers about that product?" Participants could choose from answer options and were shown, in real time, how the audience as a whole reacted. We then discussed the answer to the question based on Label Insight research. After this introductory activity we dove right into a day jam packed with information shared by industry leaders in transparency.

Why Transparency Matters

In the first presentation of the day, Edelman Chicago President Jay Porter shared the state of trust in today’s global food and beverage environment, along with the benefits of earning and protecting trust, as well as the risks associated with losing this fragile asset.

Who's Influencing Consumers

Following Jay's presentation on transparency, Mike Wehrs, the Global Head of Data and Products at GS1 US shared the importance of knowing how information -- and even misinformation -- influences purchases and consumers' interaction with brands and companies and how companies and brands can best position their messages.

Fostering NGO and 3rd Party Relationships 

As the morning went on, Gina Asoudegan, Senior Director of Mission at Applegate discussed the importance of starting with "why" al a Simon Sinek. She shared how Applegate Farms has driven industry change by forging alliances with NGOs and third parties. 

The Building Blocks of a Transparency Strategy

To wrap up our morning, Ludovic Meilhac and Kristi Weaver, Partners at McKinsey & Company, shared how transparency is much more than ingredient disclosure, with many layers of interdependent strategies to consider.

Foundations for Change: Transparency as a Business Builder

Following lunch, we jumped right back into our packed day of content with Andrew Mandzy, Director, Strategic Insights, Health & Wellness at Nielsen discussing the transformative power of transparency and meaningful opportunities for retailers and manufacturers that want to resonate with increasingly empowered shoppers.

Shopper Panel Video Analysis

Following a couple of sessions that were full of captivating data points, Rick West, CEO of Field Agent, came up to put a face in front of some of this data. Rick reminded us that behind all of this data are real people with real life concerns. Rick's presentation included video testimonials from consumers who identify as prohibitive, health conscious and socially/ethically/environmentally conscious.

Mission in Action

Next we heard from Tom Langan, North America Director, External Affairs, at Unilever on how they believe transparency is fundamental to running a sustainable business.

How Transparency is Changing the Conversation about Food

After a short break to refuel with some snacks and beverages, we came back together to hear from Raley's Owner and CEO, Michael Teel, on how transparency is driving Raley’s to change the conversation about food and label confusion. Michael introduced the retailer's new Shelf Guide program and how it’s empowering shopper decisions and the way vendor partners are looking at their own offerings.  

Communicating Transparency: Right Message, Right Medium

After hearing from a retailer we went on to hear from a brand. Director of Product Transparency at Hershey, Deborah Arcoleo, shared how The Hershey Company has demonstrated its commitment to, and acumen for, transparency. She shared Hershey's shares successful strategies for using the right messages and the right mediums for building trusting relationships. 

Front Lines of Transparency: Retail's Opportunity

Finally, we heard from Fred Bedore, Senior Director of Sustainability at Walmart on how traceability provides the foundation for transparency and building trust with customers.

What's your TransparencyIQ now?

As our day came to an end, Patrick walked us through a reflection on all we learned. We revisited our TransparencyIQ quiz and even took a moment to consider how we will all feel about our transparency journeys at next year's TransprencyIQ event. Finally, President & Executive Director of the Path to Purchase Institute gave a special thank you to the advisory board and all the attendees for joining us at TransparencyIQ

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We will be diving more deeply into each of the presentations shared during TransparencyIQ in our upcoming posts so be sure to subscribe to Label Insight!

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Topics: Company Viewpoint

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