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LabelSync Case Study

Conagra® Paves Way for Brands on SmartLabel


Conagra Brands, headquartered in Chicago, combines a rich heritage of making great food with a sharpened focus and entrepreneurial spirit. Its iconic brands include Birds Eye®, Duncan Hines®, Healthy Choice®, Marie Callender's®, Reddi-wip®, and Slim Jim®, as well as emerging brands, such as Angie's® BOOMCHICKAPOP®, Duke's®, Earth Balance®, Gardein, and Frontera®.

The company is transforming the way it operates to fulfill what consumers and customers want in a smart, simple way. With 50 locations, 17,000 employees, and $11 billion in annual revenue, Conagra is modernizing its iconic food brands, leveraging fresh opportunities and adapting to a changing landscape — all with a culture that’s ready to capture growth and drive shareholder value.


In the spring of 2016, Conagra experienced greater demand for increased product attribution. This demand was coming from three different needs for the company.

Responding to the customer demand for transparency

Over the past five years, consumers’ expectations have increased about what information is available to them. They are looking for more insights about the products they use and consume, far beyond the basic nutrition facts panel and standard ingredient list. Now shoppers are looking for diet compliance, allergen information, sustainability efforts — just to name a few. Conagra needed to augment their logistic and supply chain-oriented data to share more product information in a consumer-friendly way.

“Many of today’s consumers are looking for more transparency when it comes to their food. We are committed to providing access to the information consumers want and need to make informed decisions about what they eat.”

- Mark Evans, VP Product Readiness, Conagra

Capitalizing on the rise of grocery ecommerce

Complying with new labeling mandates

At the same time, new legislation around bioengineered food disclosure, mandating that food containing bioengineered ingredients be labeled on-pack, was adopted. Conagra needed to be compliant with the impending National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard and also set the stage for any future regulations around product disclosures.

Capitalizing on the rise of grocery e-commerce

Finally, retailers were experiencing a rise in grocery e-commerce, with the early success of Instacart and Whole Foods leading others to follow suit. Conagra was tasked with developing content and providing more digital data to support retailers in these efforts.

“The rise of e-commerce food shopping placed greater demand on being able to gather, aggregate and share product information in a consumer-facing way.”

- Mark Evans, VP Product Readiness, Conagra

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Conagra committed itself to provide deeper product information to consumers and retailers, as well as complying with new government regulations. After a pilot program with the Orville Redenbacher® brand, Conagra realized that SmartLabel™ could address all three issues across all of its brands.

SmartLabel Implementation

Going all in with SmartLabel

Created by the Trading Partner Alliance, SmartLabel extends beyond what’s on the package label with even more information. It includes things such as nutritional information, ingredients, allergens, third-party certifications, social compliance programs, usage instructions, advisories & safe handling instructions, company/brand information, along with other pertinent information about the product. Each product has a specific landing page containing detailed information on ingredients and other product attributes. SmartLabel strives to ensure that consumers will be able to easily search or scan products to access consistent, brand-verified product information.

Once Conagra invested the time to shore up their data, the team felt confident that they could create SmartLabel pages that included more than just a digital way to get the same information already on-pack. The team wanted to maximize the investment beyond digitizing the packaging to include additional product attributes, ingredient parsing and consumer-friendly ingredient definitions.

“SmartLabel provided an additional avenue, beyond our branded websites and retailer product pages, to share product information directly with our consumers.”

- Amy McCarthy, Manager PLM, Conagra

Conagra SmartLabel Pages

Choosing the Right Partner

There are two approaches to SmartLabel: you either build it in-house with IT, or go with a solution provider. Label Insight built a solution that’s not only competitive and thorough, but is affordable, and meets the requirements of the GMA.

When dealing with competing priorities, IT resources may not always be available for new projects. Conagra understood the benefit of launching SmartLabel for their products, and chose to work with Label Insight based on their proven track record and deep knowledge of the platform, having been involved with the GMA implementation guide for SmartLabel.


Out of all of Label Insight's hosted pages (52% of the total SmartLabel market), Healthy Choice boasts the most page sessions. Conagra’s Healthy Choice brand links its SmartLabel pages right from the product website.

For the 2018 calendar year ending December 29th, the Healthy Choice brand grew +20.4% (or +$85.1M) vs. year ago. Healthy Choice products with a SmartLabel page experienced accelerated growth, +15% vs. the brand average. And Healthy Choice products with a SmartLabel page grew +23.5% (or +$94.8M) vs. year ago.

“If I have a package in my left hand, and a phone in my right...and they both tell me the same thing, then what is the point? We quickly decided that to make the most of SmartLabel capabilities, we would need to add content that isn’t on the label.”

- Amy McCarthy, Manager, Product Lifecycle Management, Conagra


The success of the Conagra SmartLabel initiative is measured by the implementation and the benefits of digitizing and improving accessibility to complete product information. SmartLabel by the numbers To date, Label Insight has helped Conagra launch more than 2,000 SmartLabel pages across 50 brands. What’s more, Label Insight provides usage data on SmartLabel that can inform decisions on where to further invest resources.

Accelerating Growth with LabelSync for SmartLabel

SmartLabel by the numbers

To date, Label Insight has helped Conagra launch more than 2,000 SmartLabel pages across 50 brands. What’s more, Label Insight provides usage data on SmartLabel that can inform decisions on where to further invest resources.

"After committing to an expedited timeline for publishing almost 1,000 SmartLabel pages by the end of 2017, Label Insight did everything possible to help us achieve our goal. They became almost an extension of our team and an invaluable partner in digitizing, verifying and hosting our SmartLabel pages.

- Mark Evans, VP Product Readiness, Conagra

Bundling transparency and disclosures to reduce costs

As Conagra intended to use SmartLabel as their bioengineering disclosure tool as well as its transparency platform, the team smartly coupled the SmartLabel on-pack work with the Nutrition Label Reform graphic updates. This meant that product labels received nutrition label updates and the SmartLabel QR Code and call to action — minimizing packaging touches and lowering costs.

Unlocking the value of the data

Conagra found that building complete product records unlocked tremendous value beyond SmartLabel. The company is now using this content in many important instances across the digital world. Some key examples include:

Ecommerce Sales

E-commerce Sales

Conagra was able to better support retailers and e-tailers looking to increase their grocery e-commerce presence. The team believed that not providing this data would be a significant competitive disadvantage. Conagra found it beneficial to take the effort in supporting online grocery sales one step further and create SmartLabel pages.

Customer Assistance

Customer Assistance

Conagra’s Consumer Affairs department shares customer feedback on what products are trending based on questions and calls. In one instance, Reddi-wip had launched a non-dairy option and Consumer Affairs received questions around it not expelling properly. Conagra was able to update the SmartLabel page with advice on how to correct the issue before the new packaging hit the stores and Consumer Affairs could direct buyers how to find the page over the phone.

Ingredient Search

Ingredient Search

Now Conagra can quickly evaluate where an individual ingredient is used with robust search powered by Label Insight’s API.

Employee Reference

Employee Reference

Internally, not all Conagra employees have access to systems with product information. SmartLabel has become the de facto tool for internal employees to use as a quick reference for product information.

Technology Advances

Technology Advances

With the rise of smart appliances, Conagra has been asked to share cooking instructions with major appliance brands to enable this technology. Previously, this type of information was not structured in Conagra’s systems to deliver externally. With Label Insight, Conagra can now deliver that data via an API.

“Think of SmartLabel as a means to an end. It’s about the data. This data is becoming an absolute requirement to do business in a digital economy.”

Mark Evans, VP Product Readiness, Conagra


Looking Ahead

After two years of participation, SmartLabel is now gaining greater internal awareness at Conagra. While it started largely within the Research & Development team, the benefits of SmartLabel drove participation and impact across Marketing, Purchasing, Data Management, Brand Design and more. The company is continuing to expand its use of SmartLabel and the data across the organization.

LabelSync for SmartLabel

Labelsync, a partnership between Label Insight and 1WorldSync™, is a comprehensive solution for product data distribution and digital transparency. Only LabelSync offers the complete product data profile you need to meet increasing demands for better information about the products we buy, sell and use.



Conagra Brands received consideration in exchange for providing the information used in this case study.

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