Guest Column | December 5, 2018

How To Prepare For A More Transparent Brand-Consumer Relationship

By Angela Fernandez, VP of Retail Grocery and Foodservice, GS1 US

A map providing information on the geographic origins of key ingredients and information on agricultural practices. Videos depicting the journey of an avocado from a farm to a restaurant. A clear declaration of known allergens. These are just some of the pieces of information that today’s shoppers are increasingly considering critical to making purchase decisions.

In this age of transparency, product details once considered relevant for only supply chain purposes are increasingly in demand from consumers who search on their smart phones — a powerful growing group that the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) reports now includes 85 percent of shoppers. It’s imperative that food brands take steps to align with changing consumer tastes and preferences, or risk becoming irrelevant.

Here are some ways food companies can build more transparent relationships with consumers through increased collaboration on the collection and presentation of product information.

A Matter Of Trust
At the heart of the consumer transparency movement is the issue of trust. Shoppers want to support the brands that show they have nothing to hide from consumers. The simple fact that manufacturers are willing to make more information available goes a long way. In a recent Label Insight study, 86 percent of shoppers said access to complete and understandable definitions for ingredients would lead to greater trust. Almost the same number of shoppers said that they’re more likely to be loyal to a brand that offers more information than indicated on the physical label.

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