Building Trust Through Transparent Labeling
Better-for-you products have taken the food & beverage industry by storm. It is without a doubt where the market is moving, and what consumers are most interested in. With this focus on functional ingredients and products that fit into specific dietary needs, shoppers are looking for more transparent labeling from the brands they frequently shop with. They don’t want to look at a product’s packaging and be confused about what exactly is in it.
Utilizing accurate nutritional labels, and certifications (i.e. keto, vegan, etc.) is the best way for food & beverage brands to communicate their health-minded messaging. However, shoppers aren’t always that easily won over. Building trust involves dismantling previous notions about misleading labeling practices and communicating clear and concise nutritional components.
An uphill battle
This shift towards better-for-you products has been an ongoing process since the mid to early 2000s. The boom of “natural” and “organic” products changed the way that consumers viewed food & beverage CPG products. However, during that same time, there was a growing concern about what exactly “natural” or “organic” meant. Packaging wasn’t always clear, and many shoppers grew to questions whether or not these products were actually good for them. It’s this distrust that food & beverage brands are currently working on dismantling. Education is an important marketing tool that brands should utilize.
Packaging is an extremely important opportunity to not only catch the eye of shoppers on shelves but also to share with them how your product is better for them. Using clear and transparent labeling to explain how functional ingredients work, any potential allergens, or what diets your product fits into are all key highlights that many shoppers are looking for. These labels should be easy to find and understand.
Recently on our podcast, Beyond the Shelf, we spoke with Sonia Couto of MenuSano, whose online nutrition analysis software is helping to make creating nutritional labels easier for food & beverage manufacturers and restaurants. In our discussion, Sonia shared why it’s valuable to have clear and accurate nutritional labels in an age where shoppers are increasingly interested in knowing what exactly is in the food they eat. She goes on to share that some brands have pushed back on being too transparent in fear that shoppers may not want to know exactly what’s in their products, but she argues that the best way to build trust and to build brand loyalty is to as transparent as possible.
Shoppers want to make educated decisions about the products that they purchase. The only way they can do so is if brands commit to being as transparent as possible through their packaging and marketing efforts. By utilizing accurate nutritional labels and clear health-focused certifications/labels, food & beverage brands can continue to build trust with shoppers and help grow the better-for-you market.