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Anton Xavier

By: Anton Xavier on October 4th, 2018

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How Does Transparency Differ Across Demographics & Generational Segments?

Study  |  Transparency  |  FMI

“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.

Overall,when asked whether transparency is important to them, respondents from across generations responded similarly: Boomers (73 percent), GenX (70 percent) and Millennials (67 percent). If anything, the results seem to indicate that as you age, your need for transparency increases. This makes sense, considering that it is also well-recognized that the big five trait of conscientiousness also increases gradually with age. And it’s not an unattainable leap of logic to relate the demand for transparency to an increase in conscientiousness.

What is interesting is the fact that there isn’t a bigger difference between the generations in regards to the demand for transparency. However, when we look more closely at what is important to each generation and how they access information, that is when the report begins to define some of the fundamental differences.


“Transparency is the new objectivity.” - David Weinberger


Demographic & socioeconomic differences

Beyond generational differences the FMI and Label Insight Transparency Imperative report also explores the demographic and socioeconomic differences in demand for transparency. Education plays a role in the demand for transparency with those with a college degree or higher, placing more importance on transparency than those less educated.

Likewise, those who spend more at the grocery store tend to care more about transparency and getting the information they need to evaluate a brand and product. As can be expected, these shoppers are particularly likely to find value in being able to get detailed product information in-store on their smartphone (87 percent) and to say they are likely to use this method to access product information (85 percent).

The presence of children in the household often generates a desire to know and understand more about the food we are serving our families. Those shoppers with children are more likely to place greater importance on knowing more information about ingredients, nutrition, health benefits, and other product information when deciding what products to buy. Smartphones are seen as a very valuable way to get product information to these shoppers (89 percent), and they are, in fact, almost universally likely to use this method (89 percent).

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About Anton Xavier

Anton Xavier is a Co-Founder and founding CEO of Label Insight, and works closely with the marketing and the senior management teams.