Consumer demand for product transparency has skyrocketed during the past few years, driven largely by interest in better-for-you ingredients and a fear of artificial additives. But as food and beverage manufacturers scramble to add more label claims to their product packaging, it has resulted in one unexpected problem: Shopper confusion.
According to data from Label Insight, 67% of consumers find it challenging to understand if a product meets their needs just by looking at a package. Nearly half claim they aren’t informed after reading a product label.
Some industry groups argue there isn’t enough space on packaging to list all the brand attributes that are important for today’s consumers, such as ingredient sourcing and animal welfare. Others claim on-package labels can be misleading because they lack necessary context and nuance.
These challenges have prompted a growing number of trade groups, manufacturers and consumer advocates to tout electronic disclosure using QR codes, smart phone image recognition or online search as the future of product labeling.