Ingredient Confusion Impacts Shopper Behavior

Posted by Kira Karapetian on July 6, 2017

When we launched the 2017 Label Insight Ingredient Confusion Study last week, the idea was to better understand ingredient confusion, how it impacts shopper behavior, and what consumers are doing about it.

We’re breaking down the study piece-by-piece in our Ingredient Confusion blog series. In Part 1, we learned that consumers are confused and concerned about the ingredients in the food products they purchase, and here in Part 2, we’ll look the way this concern and confusion impacts shopper behavior and brand perceptions.

Ingredient Confusion Weakens Brand Trust and Impacts Product Sales

We know that ingredients matter to consumers, but consumers are often confused by the ingredients in food products. This confusion is concerning to many, but how does it influence their purchasing decisions?

  • Consumers don’t trust brands when they’re confused about a product’s ingredients - 60% of those we surveyed say they trust the brand less when they see ingredients they don’t recognize or find confusing.

  • Consumers hesitate to buy products with confusing ingredients - 35% do not buy a product when they find ingredients on the label that are confusing.

  • Consumers switch to products they understand - 64% of consumers would switch to another food product if they understand the ingredients in that product.

  • Understanding a product’s ingredients makes that product more appealing to consumers - 81% say they are more likely to buy food products that contain ingredients they understand or recognize.

  • Consumers believe ingredients they understand are worth more - More than half (54 percent) would pay more for a food product that contains ingredients they understand or recognize.
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What Does This Mean for the Industry?

The days of purchasing food solely for taste and convenience is gone. When it comes to the products we put in our bodies, consumers want to understand what goes into their food and where it comes from. When they can’t find this information, trust is damaged and they look elsewhere. On the flip side, brands that go above and beyond to provide detailed ingredient information, such as ingredient definitions - even why the ingredients are in their products - stand to win. Consumers find these brands more appealing and are even willing to pay more for them. Ingredients matter, and today’s consumers will go above and beyond to make sure they understand what those ingredients are.

But how can brands alleviate this confusion and repair trust? Stay tuned for the next blog in our series which will reveal how consumers are researching ingredients today and their preferred solution to better understand ingredients in the products they purchase. 


Subscribe to the blog to receive the rest of our Ingredient Confusion series delivered to your inbox. Can’t wait? Download the full 2017 Label Insight Ingredient Confusion Study for complete results and insights.

A note about our methodology. Label Insight surveyed 1,000 consumers who have a shared or primary responsibility for household shopping purchases. Consumers were asked about their feelings of confusion regarding the ingredients in food and personal care products, how that confusion affects their shopping and purchasing behavior, and how technology may alleviate concerns.

download the ingredient confusion study

Topics: Trends & Research

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