With the introduction of new food products, consumers are concerned about the availability of healthy food products and the impact these foods have on health. Hence the customers are demanding more transparency both in terms of ingredients and price from food manufacturers. However, companies are trying to be as transparent as possible, but the biggest roadblock is to figure out or find a way to make the whole process transparent to win customer trust.
The food industry is facing the biggest challenge in terms of transparency. The 2016 Label Insight Food Revolution study has found that 75% of consumers do not trust the accuracy of food labels, 35% of people often get confused as to what the labels on food products actually mean. The study also found that around 94% people want manufacturers to be transparent about how the food is made and what is in the food. Among all the respondents, 37% also agreed to switch the brand if another brand shares more information about the product. 53% people also agreed that grocery shopping is done on basis of specific diet being followed. While product transparency also influences the food purchase decision of around 71% consumers.
Transparency: an emerging trend in consumer food products
Transparency is becoming critical in the food business, as food and beverages companies want customers to trust their products. Hence, food companies are focusing on providing maximum information about food products to the customers.
Companies are also utilizing new technologies to create more transparency. For instance, The Hershey Co., the biggest chocolate manufacturer has introduced Sourcemap, an interactive tool providing visibility into the supply chain management. The tool shows customers where the company has plotted it manufacturing facility and origin of key ingredients for its two major products including Reese Peanut Butter Cup and Hershey Milk Chocolate. The consumer can click on each ingredient’s icon to find out more information through photos and videos and details about the company.
Hershey before introducing Sourcemap had also developed SmartLabel QR Codes, providing access to real time information on ingredients. Labels are also made simple with less information as companies are providing maximum information online about the product, thereby creating transparency and trust.
With increasing demand for transparency and more natural food. Food companies are eliminating artificial ingredients and are moving towards providing antibiotic-free food products. In near future, grocery stores will also be able to scan food, providing information on what are the ingredients in the food and its place of origin.