A clearer message

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ARLINGTON, Va. — Providing in-depth product information is one of the surest paths to take for retailers and consumer packaged goods companies aiming to broaden their base of loyal customers, according to a new report from the Food Marketing Institute and Label Insights Inc.

The report finds shoppers increasingly want a closer connection to their food. What’s more, 75% are more likely to switch to a brand that offers the level of transparency and product information they crave, according to “The Transparency Imperative.”

As recently as 2016, a similar survey by Label Insights found that 39% said they would switch to a brand that offers a deeper relationship through information exchange.

“We titled this report ‘The Transparency Imperative’ because as we executed the research to bring the key findings of our 2016 studies current, we see clearly that transparency is only becoming more important to consumers,” says Patrick Moorhead, chief marketing officer at Label Insight. “Their attitudes and preferences, particularly with the growth of e-commerce, make it clear that transparency is critical to growth, and our industry must take action.”

Chicago-based Label Insight was established to create transparency at the intersection of retailers, brands and consumers. It touts an industry-leading platform for CPG product attribute data covering 80% of the nation’s top-selling food, pet and personal care items. Its technology combines supply chain and on-package product information, and employs patented data science and machine learning capabilities to create more than 22,000 high-order attributes per product, deployed to deliver transparency to consumers.

“The new shopper mindset requires brand owners to think about their products well beyond the traditional label and respect a more digitally minded consumer,” says Doug Baker, vice president of industry relations at FMI. “The study offers several considerations for how to make the best use of these findings, but overall, they require companies to recognize and communicate the importance of transparency and perform a thorough review of their unique consumer audiences and commerce channels.”

Digital grocery shoppers expect more product information when shopping online, and 72% say getting product information is even more important when shopping online, the report says. And 81% of these shoppers are willing to switch to a brand that offers more in-depth product information.

Nearly half (47%) of U.S. households have someone on a diet or following a health-related program. These shoppers are even more likely to place a premium on transparency, according to the report, which also finds that the presence of children in the home increased the desire for ­transparency.

The majority of consumers (69%) say it is extremely important or important that brands and manufacturers provide detailed information such as what is in their food and how it is made.

Millennials are more likely than older shoppers to seek allergen information, certifications and claims, explanations of ingredient usage and other details, such as animal welfare, fair trade and labor practices. Baby boomers and Generation X shoppers tend to emphasize ­ingredients.



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