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Just 20% of Consumers Are Confident Their Food Is Safe: Study

Zebra says technology can help win back trust
Photograph: Shutterstock

Zebra Technologies Corp., provider of solutions to elevate the shopping experience, track and manage inventory and more, found consumers and industry decision-makers disagree on the safety, traceability and transparency in the food supply chain, according to the results of its Food Safety Supply Chain Vision Study.

Zebra found only 20% of consumers place complete trust in companies and brands to ensure food safety, compared to 37% of decision-makers. Meanwhile, only 35% of consumers agree the industry is prepared to manage food traceability and transparency vs. 69% ofdecision-makers. This is not a short-term challenge, Zebra said, as about half (51%) of surveyed food and beverage decision-makers said meeting consumer expectations will remain a challenge in five years.

“Findings from our study show that while the industry is taking measures to ensure a more transparent supply chain, more work needs to be done in order to increase consumer confidence and improve food traceability,” said Mark Wheeler, director of supply chain solutions for Lincolnshire, Ill.-based Zebra Technologies, in a release. “Businesses naturally have more information available to them but can improve consumers’ faith in their food sources by providing them access to the same information.”

Zebra said technology can help close these gaps in both the short and long term and win back consumer trust.  

To appeal to the more than 80% of consumers who said companies have an important role to play in implementing food safety solutions and an ethical responsibility to ensure the safe handling of food, as well as the 69% who said knowing how their food is sourced is important, a majority (about 90%) of surveyed industry decision-makers expect to use rugged handheld mobile computers with scanners, rugged barcode scanners and mobile barcode label/thermal within the next five years to digitally manage and track food products and related information.

About 4,957 consumers and 462 food and beverage industry decision-makers in the manufacturing, transportation and logistics, retail and wholesale distribution markets in North America, Latin America, Asia-Pacific and Europe for the Food Safety Supply Chain Vision Study. They were interviewed in January 2020 by Azure Knowledge Corp.

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