Mobile Transparency: The SmartLabel™ Story
According to a recent grocery shopping experience and behavior survey conducted by Open Mind Strategy on behalf of Food Network Magazine, consumers are using their phones in-store for a variety of reasons. In fact, 39 percent are searching for recipes, 40 percent are checking prices, and 28 percent of grocery shoppers are using their mobile devices to check nutritional information.
Methodology: Food Network Magazine surveyed 1,957 consumers age 21-54.
Product transparency is incredibly important to consumers, and will remain important in the future. With consumer relationships and preferences changing throughout the years, it’s important for brands to continue to provide more product information so consumers can make informed purchase decisions and answer questions that arise.
Introducing SmartLabel™: A GMA Initiative for Product Transparency
Recently, our Michael Fox, director, client solutions, spoke at PackEx Toronto to discuss how to successfully implement SmartLabel™. The GMA SmartLabel™ initiative is a great example of how brand owners are investing in bringing greater transparency to consumers. It provides a standardized presentation of product information to the consumer, regardless of the brand or product.
Some of the information consumers can expect from SmartLabel™ implementation includes:
- Nutrition facts
- Other information
- Company/brand information
Although this is predominately a North American initiative, there are a number of stakeholders driving global expansion. According to Progressive Grocer, the GMA expects more than 30,000 products to be available in SmartLabel™ by the end of 2017.
Displaying more information on-pack creates design and space challenges. Alternatively, brands can offer non-mandatory information only, but link to the package with an easily scanned QR code or digital watermark. Welcome to the new connected package.
“The ‘connected package’ represents the next generation in packaging, and initiatives such as the SmartLabel™ program will certainly help drive motivation for future adoption.” – Bruce Miller, VP, Product Development, SGK.
While brand owners are increasingly expected to provide more information on a pack that has limited space, initiatives like the new nutritional labeling regulations are consuming more pack real estate. Brand owners are also looking at the Vermont GMO labeling experience, along with a general desire by consumers for more product information. A logical solution is to begin to move some of the communication off the physical pack and onto a mobile screen.
The regulatory and legal environment is always changing, so brands must take advantage of that to see what these changes have to offer. In terms of digital connectivity, some of the offerings are going to have unintended side effects. The federal government’s GMO law could potentially aid the GMA SmartLabel™ initiative, and when you think about where the GMO information can be displayed, it no longer has to just be on-pack. SmartLabel™ will serve as a key source for labeling information, so consumers might be driven from the pack, brand site, or retail site.
“In turn, the datasets for nutrition and GMO information is combined with other brand content that can be served up in a number of ways, thereby bringing additional tools and touchpoints to brand owners, which at the end of the day is a good thing.” – Michael Leeds, SVP, Client Engagement, Americas, SGK.
What is the business case for SmartLabel™
The GMA SmartLabel™ initiative is becoming the most obvious choice for many brand owners, as it also contains a link to additional information that can be customized by the brand owner. In fact, over 30 companies have already committed to using the SmartLabel™, including: Conagra Brands, Kellogg Company, General Mills, PepsiCo, and Procter & Gamble, to name a few.
According to a Transparency ROI Study, conducted by Label Insight, long-term trust and consumer loyalty starts with transparency. In fact, 94% of consumers surveyed said they are likely to be loyal to a brand that offers complete transparency, while three in four consumers say they would be willing to pay more for a product that offers complete transparency. These facts emphasize the opportunity brands have to reflect their consumer’s values.
To learn more about the SmartLabel™ watch our recent BrandSquare webinar: SmartLabel™ Technology for Shopper Empowerment and Trust
About Michael Fox: Michael brings 8+ years of experience effecting organizational change with Theory of Constraint and Lean/Six Sigma Methodologies. He has a broad-based technical background in System & Industrial Engineering and Product Life-Cycle Management.
About Bruce Miller: As Vice President of Product Development for SGK, Bruce Miller leads the practical application of new technologies to the brand deployment requirements of SGK’s clients. His deep expertise in graphic production and management has helped advance the application and performance of graphic workflows for many of the world’s most prominent brand owners. A champion of innovation at SGK for more than 25 years, Bruce has played a pivotal role in the company’s transition from conventional analog to today’s advanced digital technologies and processes.
About Michael Leeds: Michael Leeds has been optimizing brand deployment processes for more than 25 years. He evaluates marketing supply chains through KPIs and best/next practices, which provide insights into the effectiveness and efficiency of a supply chain’s tools, workflows, and resources.