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Food Retail Study Determines Transparency Yields Greater Brand Loyalty by Food Marketing Institute

ARLINGTON, VA/CHICAGO – A new report released today from Label Insight and Food Marketing Institute (FMI) revealed that grocery shoppers exhibit loyalty to those products that create deeper relationships through information exchange. The Transparency Imperative report found that shoppers increasingly demand transparency and a closer connection to their food, so much so that 75 percent are more likely to switch to a brand that provides more in-depth product information, beyond what’s provided on the physical label. When shoppers were asked the same question in 2016 in a similar study by Label Insight, just 39 percent agreed they would switch brands.

FMI, with support from Label Insight, developed this report with the goal of defining what transparency means to shoppers and how it impacts their food retail purchases. The Transparency Imperative further delves into attitudes and behaviors among health-conscious shoppers, those who are digitally engaged, and reveals how consumers respond across generations. Recognizing these consumer audiences, the report recommends the necessary steps brands should consider to further embrace transparency; relay information beyond just ingredients; understand the specific needs of key shopper groups; meet the increased expectations of online shoppers; and track changing consumer preferences as this trend progresses.

In the report, 86 percent of shoppers agreed that if food manufacturers or retailers provided access to complete and easy to understand definitions for all the ingredients, it would result in more trust. Nearly as many shoppers (80 percent) said that they are more likely to be loyal to a brand that provides more in-depth information, beyond what is provided on the physical label. More than half of shoppers (54 percent) are even willing to pay more for a product that has additional product information.

“The new shopper mindset requires brand owners to think about their products well beyond the traditional label and respect a more digitally-minded consumer,” FMI Vice President, Industry Relations, Doug Baker noted. “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.”