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Dagan Xavier

By: Dagan Xavier on July 29th, 2019

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Winning with innovation—taking the guesswork out of food shopping

Retailer Solutions

In times of rapid change and intense competition — like in grocery retail today — we think it is essential retailers do two things: reflect on how they're reacting to shopper demand while at the same time, differentiate themselves from the competition.

Today's shoppers are digitally-empowered and have expanded their awareness and preferences beyond brands alone. According to a recent consumer study, half of all consumers adhere to a particular diet or health-related eating program, and 44% of consumers say food allergies, intolerances, or sensitivities affect the way they shop.

The retailers who are going to drive growth and win over shoppers are those who embrace innovation, customization, and iterate quickly to keep up with this consumer demand.

An excellent example of this kind of innovation is the expansion of the Raley’s Shelf Guide. Safe to say, we’re immensely proud of the work that has gone into powering the Shelf Guide program and we firmly believe it is a best-in-class example of how to activate on the wealth of data that Label Insight generates as a means of empowering the consumer to make better-informed choices online or at the grocery store.




Activation of Product Data

Our original Label Insight use case set out to identify all heart-healthy products in the grocery store to make shopping easier for the founder's father. Today, its product dataset has evolved to support thousands of attribute needs across the ecosystem.

The Raley’s Shelf Guide is a great example of product data activation in action. Their first eight icons — now expanded to 23 icons — are examples of what it looks like when a retailer harness the power of the Label Insight data to differentiate themselves.

Whether it’s heart-healthy, diabetic or keto-friendly, activating product data in a way that helps the consumer understand and make more informed personal decisions translates into increased loyalty and growth for retailers. 

However, it’s essential to keep in mind that not all product data is created equal. Raley’s choose Label Insight to be their product data provider for two very important reasons: data depth and customization. You’ll see why that matters below!


Depth of Product Data is Key

The number of product attributes or icons alone is not an accurate measure of the value of a health and wellness program. There are several programs already in the market that have a similar number of attributes to Raley's, but where their Shelf Guide excels is in their depth of attribution.

Take the Gut Health icon as an example. This icon typically focuses on the existence of pro or prebiotics. In this case, Raley's took into account marketing claims and certifications associated with maintaining and building gut microbiota as well as dietary fiber thresholds and other nutritional criteria. They even accounted for specific category limitations and an intensive ingredient analysis that includes all the thousands of variations of both probiotic and prebiotic ingredients.

Sometimes making things simple, like a single shelf tag that identifies a clean product, is the most complex challenge. Raley's Clean Label marks products that do not contain 120 different banned ingredients. To create this, Label Insight leveraged our patented ingredient taxonomy to determine all the ways these 120 ingredients could be named or described. In the end, that list of 120 ingredients encompassed 21,800 unique variations in ingredient name and description.

An example of one of the 120 ingredients is Artificial Color Yellow 5. Identifying and then excluding products that contain this one ingredient may seem easy at first but in reality, this one color is described 2000+ different ways across product labels. How can we expect the consumer to memorize all these variations, and then remember them as they're shopping? It's our job to seek out the anomalies in the data and bring structure to the unstructured. To whittle 2000 variations into just one: Artificial Color Yellow 5.


Custom is a Configuration

When we started Label Insight, we set out to create a highly flexible data model that could unlock the answers to a million questions about the products that shoppers — like you and me — buy and consume. That mission has created the industry’s most advanced data transformation process and the most accurate and detailed product attribute data set available today.


Describing the in's and out's of the data transformation process deserves a separate blog post, so I'll give you the sparknotes version. 

Our transformation process begins with Data Capture, which is where a product enters our system and where we generate all the data from the package to make the physical, digital. It ends with Data Customization, which is where we work with our clients, like Raley's, to configure the best attributes to create their custom views into the marketplace.

The interesting part is what happens in the middle. If you are a retailer looking to implement your own health and wellness program, you need the tools to customize as a means of differentiating yourself from your competition and providing your shoppers with an informed experience. As a retailer, how do you provide a way to answer your consumers’ questions? Legos are a great metaphor for how we deliver unique value “in the middle” to help you better serve your consumer and differentiate in a crowded marketplace.

By focusing our efforts on deconstructing the product data down to an anatomical level, we are able to reconstruct the data in an organized fashion that allows us to then configure the data to create customized views. Or as the visual above shows, we’re essentially creating lego bricks out of  product attribute data from the package, organizing them into all their various shapes and colors, and then allowing our customers to build whatever creation they’d like to configure — whether they’re seeking to build a bicycle or a Ferrari!


Just like Raley’s, retailers can easily leverage Label Insight data to configure a custom and differentiated health and wellness view into their marketplace. Contact us for more information about how we can help you innovate, customize, and iterate to achieve your business objectives.