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How to Provide Product Transparency in Consumer Packaging

February 9, 2017

Product transparency isn’t likely to be a trend that is going to fade, in fact it’s becoming less of a desire or suggestion by consumers and more of an expectation. According to a recent report conducted by Label Insight, 94% of consumers would be more loyal to brands that practice transparency, while 56% claim that brand transparency would make them loyal for life. Consequently, brand owners should begin making a plan to address consumer expectations.

What is product transparency?
There isn’t one clearly defined explanation for product transparency. To some, it’s the ingredients. Can the consumer be confident in understanding the ingredients listed? Are they recognizable? To others, it’s communication by the brand owner. Is the brand trustworthy? Are they trying to hide something or misconstrue the contents of the package? Consumers are looking for clear and concise communication of the contents of the package.

FDA Nutrition Facts Label

Who is your target market and what are they looking for?
Consumers are becoming increasingly informed about what they’re consuming and are opting for healthier products with clear, recognizable ingredients. The report conducted by Label Insight also revealed that 73% of consumers would pay more for a product that offered complete transparency. According to Innova, 91% of US consumers believe food and beverage options with recognizable ingredients are healthier.

Does the product have specific certifications or make certain claims, such as, Non-GMO, Kosher, Natural, Organic, free from hormones or antibiotics? These claims are important to many shoppers today and as such, the information should be easily identifiable on the product packaging to increase consumer confidence. Simply put, consumers want to know what they are getting, however, the specific concern may differ among generations and consumer groups.

Millenials
According to Forbes, many millennials choose packaging based on their lifestyle. Among this group, studies show that most are health conscious, environmentally cognizant, and pay attention to what the ingredients and packaging materials are and where they are sourced. Many prefer all natural and organic options. Grab and go convenience products are also trending with millennials, therefore the healthy information that they are searching for should be clearly stated on the packaging to aid in quick decision making.

The PLMA hired Surveylab to conduct a nationwide online survey that primarily included the millennial generation. The survey found that 42% of millennials are “very interested” in the topic of health. It also found that nine out of ten millennials say they are aware of the ingredients in the food products that they eat and three out of four will read the nutritional labels on products.

Baby Boomers
Some baby boomers define ‘healthy’ differently than millennials. As baby boomers are getting older their hope is to maintain good health. A 2016 Food and Health Survey found that when it comes to healthy choices, baby boomers may choose to look at factors such as inclusion of vitamin C, whole grains, protein from plant sources, and omega-3 fatty acids. They also prefer functional foods that contain fiber, carotenoids, probiotics or vitamin fortification.

How do I address these concerns with my packaging?
Here are some things to keep in mind as well as labeling options to help communicate with your customers.

One option is to provide the consumer with transparency by using a clear label and container so that consumers can view the contents of the product. Clear film-based labels are available for cut & stack, pressure sensitive, roll-fed, shrink and stretch sleeve label formats. These are a great option for highlighting product contents.

If visible food and packaging contents doesn’t work for your product or container, transparency can also be achieved with vibrant text, colors and graphics to convey valuable information to the consumer.

For consumers concerned with product sourcing and who are looking for sustainable packaging solutions, there are many label options available. For example, we offer cut & stack and pressure sensitive labels with PCR (post consumer recycled) content and floatable film for shrink sleeves labels that meets APR protocols (Association of Plastics Recyclers). For PET containers, we offer a pressure sensitive film and our roll-fed and stretch sleeve films easily separate in recycling systems.

The key is to use the real estate that you have on your container to communicate with consumers and answer important questions and concerns. There are plenty of labeling options that allow you to provide transparency without sacrificing design. Packaging transparency offers your company the opportunity to become a trusted resource for your consumers and in return create loyal customers.

Contact us to discuss label options for your packaging transparency needs