5 Reasons Why A Clear & Informative Label Makes Good Business Sense
Consumers and governments are paying a lot of attention to package labels today. And this need for clarity is driving the proposed U.S. FDA regulations for more detailed and prominent nutrition information on food labels. But the way we see it, having a clear and informative label isn’t just a requirement; it also makes good business sense.
Wise brands don’t mistake regulations for marketing plans or messaging strategies, instead they see them as opportunities. Here are 5 reasons to see regulations as a springboard toward clarity, transparency and a more profitable relationship for both consumers and brands:
1. Clarity will help ensure that food is safe, but perhaps even more important, detailed and readable labels will help consumers make more informed decisions about the products they buy and use. And this is just part of a bigger story about the consumer/brand relationship.
2. Consumers are putting unprecedented pressure on brands and manufacturers through their ability to collect, compare and demand information, especially about the foods they eat. Brands and manufacturers should embrace this to sustain their own businesses. We’re seeing smart companies already examining their own labeling philosophies and communications habits to better address consumer desire for honest and clear nutrition information – in advance of the upcoming government regulations.
3. Even before the current focus on label information, certain food categories cultivated information-based relationships with their customers that show the inherent power of clarity. Naked Juice got it right several years ago with messaging that shows ingredients in a clear and simple way (5 blackberries, 4 raspberries and ½ banana). Which brings us to point number four…
4. It goes further than the taste and cachet. Consumers are now deeply informed of dietary trends and health concerns that are raised by a vocal minority. For instance, gluten-free was a concern of a relatively small group of people just ten years ago. Food companies saw opportunities to label their gluten-free foods to attract a growing population that seeks these products. Today, information on the subject is abundant. In fact the U.S. market for gluten-free food was estimated as high as $10.5 billion in 2013, reaching $15.6 billion in 2016.
5. Successful brands are “out in front of” evolving government regulations, not looking for ways to skirt or challenge them. In early 2014, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in a case involving a major global beverage manufacturer made it clear: even though a product meets FDA regulations for categorization, it can still be held as misleading consumers.
You may be temped to view government label regulations as merely a template for marketing communication. This will only sell your brand short. Instead, go beyond government regulations and make the label part of an integrated message across physical and digital stores.
For more insight and examples download Patterns – The New Label: Responsibilities + Opportunities.
*This post updates material that was previously published in SGK Patterns Issue 2, 2014.