Transparency In an Evolving Omnichannel World

By Joshua Weatherwax

6 min read

February 28, 2022

Transparency trends have evolved as omnichannel shopping takes on greater importance.

Consider that the majority of online grocery shoppers (64%) began this mode of food shopping only in the past 18 months — and 43% cite the pandemic specifically as a reason. Given that context, it’s easy to see how shoppers are looking at transparency through new lenses.

The food industry has a lot to learn from the evolving perspectives of shoppers on transparency, omnichannel shopping behaviors, health and wellbeing and other topics. This is the third in a series of consumer survey-based reports from FMI — The Food Industry Association — and NielsenIQ (previously from Label Insight, which is now part of NielsenIQ).

Keep reading to learn more about transparency trends and access the free report.

The State of Transparency

A lot has changed since the 2018 FMI report called The Transparency Imperative, which examined transparency trends in food retail. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a surge in online grocery shopping and a growing consumer embrace of health and well-being and environmental sustainability solutions.

That’s why NielsenIQ and FMI collaborated to take a renewed look at the state of the industry and create another comprehensive report.

To download the full report, check out the post here.

Here are five key takeaways from the report:

Consumers Value Transparency and Perspectives Evolve

Consumers give a strong thumbs up to transparency in the latest survey results. About three quarters of shoppers surveyed said transparency from brands and manufacturers is extremely important or important. Transparency was defined as providing detailed information such as what is in food and how it is made. Areas of greatest interest for finding additional product information online include ingredient definitions and in-depth nutritional information — all consistent with earlier research. However, a number of secondary factors are more important to consumers. These include diets the product complies with, a company’s sustainability practices, additional certifications the products qualify for and a company’s social responsibility programs. In fact, more than half (51%) of consumers are now interested in at least one of the secondary factors, versus 44% in the comparable 2018 research.

Pandemic Sparks Changes

Many consumer behaviors have been transformed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. A case in point involves online shopping behaviors. The majority of online grocery shoppers (64%) began this mode of food shopping only in the past 18 months — and 43% cite the pandemic specifically as a reason. Consider that back in 2018, the research found just over one-fourth of shoppers (26%) purchased groceries online in the past 30 days. That has now advanced to more than one-half of grocery shoppers (55%) in the latest findings.

Shoppers Embrace Healthy Eating

The pandemic drove many consumers to eat healthier and become health and wellness consumers. In fact, 48% of consumers say that moving forward they expect to eat healthier. Some 89% say general nutrition facts about a product are at least somewhat important in deciding which products to buy when grocery shopping — while 66% find this important or extremely important. Meanwhile, 45% say showing in-depth nutritional information is an indication of transparency.

Transparency Drives Loyalty and Trust

Most shoppers consider transparency to be extremely important or important (72%) — with transparency defined as providing detailed information such as what is in their food and how it was made. Shoppers say that transparency boosts their trust in manufacturers and retailers. Almost two-thirds of shoppers (64%) say they would switch from a brand they usually buy to another brand that provides more in-depth product information, beyond what is provided on the physical label.

Younger Consumers in Forefront

Gen Z (74%) and particularly Millennial (79%) shoppers are more likely to say it is important that the companies they buy from are transparent compared to Gen X (63%) and Boomers (70%). Younger shoppers are also more interested than others in looking for information beyond what appears on labels and in searching labels to make sure foods meet their diet- or health-related needs.

Bottom Line: The Landscape Has Shifted

As consumer habits changed so dramatically in 2021, CPG brands have had to make major changes to keep up. Fortunately, with Byzzer’s reporting solutions, you can have all the data you need at your fingertips. Contact us today to see what our tools can do for your business. You’ll also want to read about the top CPG trends for small businesses in 2022.

Get valuable insights with Byzzer. Knowing about these trends is only the beginning. Depending on your product line, you need to know how much to adapt to consumer needs. Byzzer provides breakdowns of all these attributes in easy-to-digest reports. Best of all, we’ll show you how to leverage this information for your action plan.

Sign up for a free account with Byzzer today!

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