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Food Traceability, Transparency, and Consumer Trust

April 18 Laura Ward




> Consumers want to know where the food products they buy are from, what is in them, and how they are made.

> Being transparent with customers about the information they care about builds trust and loyalty. 

> Product innovations to help share your story with consumers online and offline.


According to a 2015 survey by Trace One, 68 percent of US consumers feel they are not provided with enough information about what is in their food and where it comes from[1]Label Insight's 2016 survey indicates that 94 percent of consumers say it is important to them that the brands and manufacturers they purchase from are transparent about what is in their food and how it is made[2]. The conclusion? Consumers want more detailed product traceability and often feel unsatisfed with the information currently provided.

In a technological age, complex information is expected to be sourced easily and instantly. In Forbes Magazine, The Hartman Group labels this to be the root of consumer desire for transparency, going on to mention the power of transparency in building consumer trust and loyalty[3]. Other influencers in the industry agree:

“Transparency works. We have statistical data to show that increasing transparency in farming, food production and processing will increase consumer trust.” [4]     - Charlie Arnot, CEO of The Center for Food Integrity at  2015 Food Integrity Summit in New Orleans

Food businesses do not have any legal responsibility to disclose detailed traceability information. However, consumer demand provides an opportunity for food makers to share the unique story behind their products and to deepen relationships with customers by offering more in-depth information they care about. This is especially true for local producers and those that adhere to ethical and humane practices.  

New innovations in labeling, like including QR codes on-package that link to online product profiles, are a solution information-seeking consumers are open to[2].

As it is impossible to fit everything on-package, Localize QR enhanced labels provide a bridge between on-package and online linking a platform to share more in-depth information customers care about. By sharing a product's unique story through a QR code, producers can connect digitally with their customers, even when they can't meet in person. Producers are able to include their company history, photos of the people behind their business and their farm/facility, and details about production, ingredients, and certifications.




“Consumers want transparency on labels more than anything else. What are they eating; where are these ingredients coming from?"[5]

- Dr. David Acheson, former chief medical officer for USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service and FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition 


Interested in optimizing your product packaging with a Localize label? Check out more details here



Intent to learn more about the topic of food transparency? Read on:

Capitalizing on the Shifting Consumer Food Value Equation 

Food Industry Transformation: The Next Decade

Consumers Want to Know More About Where the Ingredients for Their Food Come From

The Rise of Food Transparency

The Resurgance of QR Codes May Finally Have Value for Marketers 



[1]Trace One (2015) Consumers Buy Private Brands but Concerns in Food Quality and Safety Point to Need for Greater Transparency. Retrieved April 06, 2017.

[2] Label Insight (2016). How Consumer Demand for Transparency is Shaping the Food Industry. Retreived April 06, 2017.

[3] The Hartman Group (2015, July 26). Why Transparency Should Matter to Food and Beverage Companies. Retreived April 06, 2017.

[4] Center for Food Integriy (2015, November 29). New Transparency Research Reveals What Consumers Want From Food and Ag to Earn Their Trust. Retrieved April 06, 2017.

[5] Pellegrini, M. (2016, March 07). Public demands what feds suggest: Traceability via food labels. Retrieved April 06, 2017.


Categories: Business Growth, Food Transparency

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