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In recent years, the grocery industry, including store food brands, has seen many significant changes, including stronger regulations, harsher punishments for food crises, and major food recalls. Meanwhile, consumers’ increasing influence and pressure has encouraged retailers to embrace corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability practices for a competitive advantage. Additionally, consumers are demanding greater transparency and visibility into the supply chain.
CSR and sustainability initiatives are no longer nice-to-have programs – they have become business requirements to help retailers compete effectively for conscious consumers’ wallets. So what exactly to consumers expect and what can retailers to do adhere to their expectations?
In response to the consumer’s demand for non-genetically modified foods (GM foods), many retailers have taken action. Nearly all supermarkets in various countries across Europe (including the UK, Ireland, Switzerland, France, Germany and Italy) ensure that they avoid GM foods and that livestock are fed on non-GM food diet. The sanction for neglecting to comply to this regulation is particularly harsh in most Italian regions, where anyone found growing GM food crops faces two years in prison or a €50,000 fine. Growing numbers of consumers expect retailers to clearly evidence the fact that a particular product has not been genetically modified before making a purchase.
The same amount of transparency is also expected for Fair Trade products, which have similarly experienced a significant increase in consumer demand over the years. This was reflected in the UK where sales of certified Fair Trade products grew by 2% in value to £1.64 billion in 2016. Fair Trade reflects a movement that aims to reduce poverty, and promote ethical and environmentally-friendly work conditions in developing countries by helping local producers earn a fair price for their products. Fair Trade products can be distinguished by the distinctive blue, green and black logo. With popular supermarkets such as Carrefour experiencing a rise in sales of their own brand Fair Trade products (up 20% from 2015), it appears that other supermarkets should and are expected to follow suit.
The results of a recent Trace One consumer survey evidenced that they showed mixed feelings for their level of trust in Private Label. Only 23% of respondents completely trust the safety of the Private Label products they consume, while 44% said the main reason for not buying Private Label brands is that they trust national brands more. These numbers clearly show that retailers and manufacturers must prioritize their efforts to improve consumer confidence in their brands and Private Label products.
In recent years, the grocery industry, including store food brands, has seen many significant changes, including stronger regulations, harsher punishments for food crises, and major food recalls. Meanwhile, consumers’ increasing influence and pressure has encouraged retailers to embrace corporate social responsibility (CSR) and...
At DigitalFoodLab, one of our goals is to make foodtech more well-known. To achieve this, we have worked to establish a definition classification to make it more understandable. As with any classification, it may (and should) be challenged, but it is here to help compare startups between peers in a very large ecosystem ranging from agriculture...