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According to recent research and Freedom of Information requests made to health authorities, hospital admissions in England due to food reactions rose from 2,758 in 2004 to 4,744 in 2015, showing there is a growing need for food products for allergy sufferers. This is supported by research from the US where The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that food allergies among US children increased approximately 50% between 1997 and 2011 and currently 15 million Americans have food allergies. Transparency of information is essential to ensure consumers can make informed food decisions and protect themselves against risk.
Consumers remain the driving force for retail, continuing to demand more choice, quality and transparency. How can retailers respond to these demands and give themselves a strong chance for success in 2016 and beyond?
Trace One consumer interviews on the street reveal a growing concern among shoppers on the correlation between their health and the ‘real’ ingredients in the food products they buy and eat. They want, and need, to trust labels, sources, and ingredients.
According to recent research from Euromonitor, private label consumers are now placing increasing importance on food provenance, sustainability, ingredients, freshness and seasonality. For retail, this means information has to be shared effectively throughout the supply chain in order to secure consumers’ trust. This has in turn made transparency a hot topic, as it forms a crucial foundation to the trust between consumers, retailers and suppliers. Trace One recently conducted a survey of Fortune 500 companies, covering private label retailers, suppliers and manufacturers, to get their insight. The results were interesting to say the least.
At this year’s BRC Food Safety conference retailers, manufacturers and food industry professionals debated the key events in food safety over the last year and how they need to adapt to meet the challenges yet to come. At the forefront of this debate is how, one year on from the horsemeat crisis, the industry can pick up the pieces and ensure another similar catastrophe is avoided in future. For example, at this year’s conference we moderated a panel discussion on transparency, discussing its role in aiding food safety. The discussion revealed that many felt that there is not enough collaboration between retailers and the manufacturers further down the supply chain and that more work is needed.
Packaging is more under the spotlight than ever before for a number of reasons. Environmental concerns over packaging material, the growth in the number of food allergen sufferers and the recent horsemeat food crisis have meant that consumers are now intensely aware of packaging and the information portrayed on the products that they consume. While this presents challenges for retailers and manufacturers, there is clearly an opportunity for the industry to better engage with consumers through providing greater clarity in product packaging.
Last year, Halloween delivered £325m in sales in the UK and $6.9 billion in sales in the US – retailers and suppliers will be keen to exploit the period’s growing potential this month. There are a number of important steps that retailers and manufacturers can take during Halloween to innovate in private label products, engage with consumers, and make the most of this multi-million pound opportunity.
Consumers are now demanding more information than ever. The growth of the internet and the spread of mobile devices mean that information on almost any subject is at our fingertips. This is revolutionising the way that people work, play and shop. we are entering an “Age of Disruption,” where retailers that deliver a customised experience to consumers across all devices will be the most successful.
The last week of June saw the arrival of The Consumer Goods Forum Global Summit in New York, where Trace One was in attendance along with some of the biggest names in the food and drink industry. One of the main themes discussed was the importance of consumer trust within the industry, and why retailers...