In a fast moving lifestyle that demands on-the-go solutions, packaged food has become a norm. Undoubtedly, the food and beverage industry has relished the new social change. This massive business opportunity, though, has attracted a large number of investors, inevitably creating more competition. Therefore, it was believed that the key to success is to offer the best at the most reasonable value. But is appears that brands now are looking beyond quality and pricing, as consumers all around the globe are becoming more conscious about their food product and what goes into making them. Increasing incidences of contamination and food frauds are compelling brands to take greater responsibility for their products.
How Food Labels are Bridge the Gap
Food labelling is no more just a mandatory implication, but a vital part of a company’s marketing strategy. People desire information about safety, health, socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of food products. Clearly justifying the increased efforts of food brands on developing labelling solutions that meet consumer expectations. But the dilemma is, such labelled information often face consumer scepticism and rightly so. Regulatory bodies often face challenges to ensure that the product information is truthful, accurate and not misleading to the consumer. Sometimes, facts are exaggerated and deceiving, governments must enforce laws that necessitate clearer labelling of food products.
Globalisation can be seen as another factor that is urging manufacturers to harmonise food labels. The global trade in food is on the rise, as consumers show more interest in exotic products. This further compels brands to standardise product information that could be easily understood and is appropriate to foreign markets. Guidelines on the use of terms such as ‘healthy’ or ‘nature’ still carry a sense of ambiguity. Meanwhile, terms such as “Best if used by”, “Use By”, “sell by” and “expires on” need to make more definitive statements when explaining products.
Apparently, there has been a consistent sense of disbelief on the industry from consumers. Having strict rules in order that factually backs claims and information is quintessential. Nonetheless, certifications, logos, meaningful and understandable claims will help brands to gain trust from consumers and build a market image.
Novelty in Labelling
Some of the latest labelling solutions define the current requirements and principals of food labelling. Besides, innovation in food labelling will essentially help food law experts, food regulatory agencies and other governing bodies to take more calculative decisions serving in the best interest of both consumers and the industry. The focus is on “clean labels” — a format consumers can easily understand and also trust. “Healthy” is one of the most effective words in food labelling world, it creates a huge difference in consumer’s perception about products. This leaves food and restaurant companies hankering to stuff their labels with natural ingredients. Similarly, brands also use labels that mention a third-party verification or recommendation for the product in order to create a positive impression on the consumer’s mind. Such third-party organisations usually verify the quality and health benefits of ingredients used in any particular products. Moreover, labelling that is supported by certification allows consumers to differentiate between conventional and GM food products. Over the next couple of years, the food product labelling landscape is anticipated to undergo massive change. With the arrival of SmartLabels, the industry is set to change its approach to food packaging and adopt advanced digital labelling solutions.