83% want 'increased transparency and info on food product labels'

02nd June 2014 - Fine Cut

A survey of British consumers has revealed just how important it is to provide the right information on food labels and to ensure that it is done so in a clear and transparent way.

Research commissioned by Trace One found that not only did 63 per cent of individuals feel their trust had been betrayed by the food industry as of late, but also an overwhelming 83 per cent said they wanted better transparency and information on such products, so they could be sure they knew where their food had come from and exactly what was in it.

According to the Retail Times, when asked what details specifically customers wanted to see on their food labels, information concerning the health content of the item topped the polls, with three-fifths (60 per cent) of respondents saying it was the most (36 per cent) or second-most (24 per cent) important feature. Such health information might include the number of calories in a product or the amount of fat it contained.

A further 15 per cent felt that content about farming methods - such as whether or not a product is organic - was most important.

The results also showed that it was those aged over 65 who displayed the most significant loss of trust in the food industry. Meanwhile, 16 to 25-year-olds were the age group most concerned with ethical issues.

As Nick Martin, senior vice president of Northern Europe at Trace One, explained, UK shoppers spent a massive £112 billion on food and drink last year. Accordingly, just a small decline in how much these individuals trust the industry could result in a significant drop in revenue for manufacturers and retailers.

"Consumers are clear on what needs to be done - they need more information and it needs to be completely transparent. While this may seem like a risk of flooding consumers with data, 21st century shoppers are increasingly savvy," he said. 

The expert went on to highlight that not only do consumers tend to pay more attention to health scares nowadays, but the repercussions of these tend to last for longer than they might have done in the past, meaning the fallout of food scandals can have a long-lasting impact.

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