The newly released “Transparency in an Evolving Omnichannel World” report from FMI – The Food Industry Association and NielsenIQ has found continuing high demand among consumers for transparency from food retailers and manufacturers, especially in a more omnichannel landscape. According to the report, two-thirds of shoppers (64%) said that they would switch from a brand they normally purchase to another that provides more in-depth product information, beyond nutrition facts.
“The data from this report strongly reinforce the old adage that honesty is the best policy,” said Steve Markenson, director of research and insights for Arlington, Va.-based FMI. “Consumers want to know where their food comes from and how it gets made and that has held true even as the pandemic has changed grocery shopping habits. Whether online or in store, shoppers prefer brands that tell the whole story about their products.”
“Transparency trends continue to evolve as omnichannel gains importance,” added Sherry Frey, VP of total wellness with Chicago-based NielsenIQ. “As consumers demand greater transparency, brands have an opportunity to educate consumers, communicate sustainability and health credentials, and win consumer loyalty.”
In the area of transparency, ingredient and nutrition information remain top priorities for a growing number of health-minded consumers. For instance, 89% said that general nutrition facts about a product are at least somewhat important in deciding which products to buy when grocery shopping, while 66% said this was important or extremely important. In addition to nutrition facts, the majority (80%) of shoppers noted other important transparency indicators: allergen information, certifications and claims, and values-based information such as animal welfare, Fair Trade and labor practices.
In 2018, a little more than one-fourth of shoppers (26%) bought groceries online in the past 30 days. The recent FMI/NielsenIQ report found that this number has now grown to 55%, making the online marketplace a crucial spot for consumers to seek their favorite brands and discover new ones. For example, 47% said that discovery of new products – including information on sourcing and manufacturing processes – is easier online, compared with 23% saying that it’s harder and 30% saying that it’s about the same. In the realm of online shopping and transparency, shoppers said that they want faster delivery (42%), easier-to-navigate websites (37%), more and better product information (30%), retention of order history (29%), more accurate search functionality (28%), and product recommendations based on preferences (23%).