More than seven in 10 shoppers want to know more about the grocery items they buy than they’re currently able to get from traditional on-package labels, according to a new national survey commissioned by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and Food Marketing Institute (FMI). These shoppers seek such information as what the ingredients do and why they’re in the product.
According to the industry groups, the survey findings confirm the importance of the digital tool they’ve developed, SmartLabel, which gives consumers easy access to additional, detailed information on the products, including data on allergens, usage, production methods, animal welfare and environmental impact. Almost 28,000 products carried by food retailers now feature SmartLabel.
To access this information, shoppers can scan a product’s QR code using the SmartLabel app or a smartphone camera, go online, or call a product’s 1-800 number.
On the heels of the survey, manufacturers and retailers plan to introduce an education campaign over the next several months to help consumers understand and make use of the tool.
“SmartLabel participation has increased significantly, from 4,000 products in early 2017 to nearly 28,000 food, beverage, personal care and household products today,” noted Jim Flannery, senior EVP at Washington, D.C.-based GMA. “More products are using SmartLabel every week, and that’s why manufacturers and retailers are kicking off a campaign to make sure consumers know about SmartLabel and how it helps them get the additional information they want about the products they use and consume.”
“Consumers see retailers as a trusted source of information about the products they buy, and this education campaign aims to show consumers how they can use QR codes and other digital disclosure methods to seek a closer connection to the foods they eat and the products they apply,” added Mark Baum, chief collaboration officer and SVP for industry relations at Arlington, Va.-based FMI.
London-based Atomik Research was commissioned by the organizations to run a general population online survey last month of 1,002 adults in the United States who do the grocery shopping for their homes, whether independently or shopping for others within the household.