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Product transparency paramount in omnichannel retail world

When grocery shopping in-store or online, 81% of consumers deem transparency important or extremely important for the products they buy, new research from FMI-The Food Industry Association and Label Insight finds.

Of 1,000 U.S. omnichannel shoppers polled, only 4% don’t consider product transparency important, according to the FMI-Label Insight “Transparency Trends: Omnichannel Grocery Shopping from the Consumer Perspective” report, released Tuesday. More affluent and higher-spending respondents — including those with higher household incomes and people who shop online more often — tend to value transparency more strongly, FMI said.

The study, conducted March 5 to 20, surveyed consumers who had shopped online and in-store for groceries within the previous month. FMI noted that the report builds on 2018 research that examined the rising importance of transparency. (Charts from FMI-Label Insight 2020 “Transparency Trends” study)

In determining the transparency of a brand or manufacturer, shoppers weigh such factors as ingredients, certifications, nutrition and sustainability. To that end, 62% of those surveyed consider brands and manufacturers transparent if they provide a full list of ingredients, and 53% expect a plain English description of ingredients. Customers also seek more detailed ingredient information, including sourcing detail (38%) and an explanation of ingredient use (32%).