According to the Ingredient Confusion Study conducted by Label Insight Inc., 83% of consumers feel confused at least some of the time about ingredients listed on food package labels, and 60% say they trust the brand less when they see ingredients they don’t recognize or find confusing.
That’s not great news, but it does offer companies a chance to take the lead in the transparency arena, says Patrick Moorhead, CMO of Label Insight.
“As it becomes harder and harder to discern the difference between owned and national brands at the shelf, there’s huge opportunity for owned label to differentiate through digital transparency initiatives such as SmartLabel,” Moorhead says. “Consumers want to know where the ingredients were sourced, how they were grown, and how the animals and workers and environments were treated that brought it to our plate. Savvy brands will not only offer superior products that compete on a broader scale, but will also feed into consumer desire to know more about the food they consume.”
Topco is one company leading the way on the transparency front. As the first customer for Label Insight’s new Capture service, Topco will receive data from Label Insight about the nutrient and ingredient composition of its private label products.
“Transparency not only conveys quality of own brand products; it helps establish trust with consumers by offering information beyond what shoppers can find on the label to capture ingredient and production sources, detailed product attributes, allergen information, brand stories, recipes and more,” says Anne Bernier, senior director of business process strategy for Topco Associates LLC. “Transparency provides a way to showcase information about own brand products, thereby creating a connection between the brand and the consumer.”
But as Bernier stresses, transparency is only a positive if consumers can easily find the information they’re seeking.
“In order to truly leverage the power of transparency, drive trial and nurture loyalty with own brands, retailers should promote their product transparency capabilities through in-store demos, POS, QR codes and URLs, secondary displays, ads and social media campaigns,” she says.