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"WeListen" Blog

Why Food Transparency is a Vital Issue for Consumers (Part 1 of 2)

Woman reading a food label

Consumers want to know about the ingredients in their CPG products. Food transparency is important for many reasons, including allergies, social responsibility, sustainability, and more. Here is what you need to know.

Why Read the Labels?

Connecting food labels with the right information is important to many people. Consumers read labels to keep track of nutrition and to learn whether a product is sustainable. For others, it is vital due to allergies and other medical conditions, some of which are life-threatening.

This makes food transparency a vital part of CPG packaging. Staying away from harmful or potentially deadly ingredients is much easier when food labels contain the right information. Shoppers are often confused about what the label contains, making it hard to buy the right products.

More consumers are paying attention. According to food transparency research, 93% of customers feel it is important for manufacturers and brands to include the ingredients in food and how it is made on their packaging.

What Is Food Transparency?

Conflicting definitions of food transparency contribute to consumer confusion. For example, some shoppers see a brand as transparent if companies provide three components:

  • A description or list of all ingredients in a product
  • Complete Nutritional details
  • Allergy information, plus how ingredients are sourced and produced

Some companies also share this information through tools such as interactive maps for tracking ingredient sourcing and QR codes that give shoppers a list of what is in the product. Providing this information will help consumers with consumer trust.

Value sharing is a major part of connecting food to brand loyalty. Customers care about what a company stands behind, which is why many organizations now openly share this information. These values can include:

  • Food safety
  • Animal welfare
  • Sustainability

Shared values, along with ethics, help companies build consumer trust. People need to feel confident about the products they purchase, and value sharing helps them make informed decisions.

Woman reading a label.

What Do Consumers Need to Know?

Consumers look for information that will help them make the right choices. Food labels should contain accurate details about allergens and ingredients so customers will be well-informed.

Brands should study common terminology to learn what it means. For instance, knowing the difference between free-range and cage-free eggs can really make a difference depending on certain factors.

Consumers will check reliable information from reputable sources. Relevant blogs and articles are a places they will visit. This gives them the knowledge needed to understand the labels.

Consumers will compare the information they research to what is printed on trusted CPG packaging labels. While it is important for companies to print the right information, consumers find it is equally crucial to decide who they trust based on what they know.

Food transparency research indicates 52% of consumers feel smaller up-and-coming companies will report accurate information. Customers who have done their homework will be more product aware and more intuitive when it comes to connecting food to brands.

Food transparency is more than just disclosing practices and ingredients on your CPG packaging labels. It is about illustrating your purpose through the values you live and how you communicate with customers.

Consumers should be able to trust brands to give them reliable and accurate information about their ingredients. Fortunately, many CPG brands agree and are taking steps to provide this data. One revolutionary solution is Connecting Food, a French-based company that allows consumers to scan a QR code and get 100% food traceability from seed to store. Learn more about this solution in Part 2 of our series. 

PKG Brand Design is always on the forefront of new CPG branding and packaging initiatives; please subscribe to our blog for the latest package design industry news!

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