FMI Report Finds Consumer Demand for Transparency

Arlington, VA—FMI and NielsenIQ have released the Transparency in an Evolving Omnichannel World report, which found continued high demand among consumers for transparency from food retailers and manufacturers: 64% of shoppers said they would switch from a brand they usually buy to another brand that provides more in-depth product information, beyond nutrition facts.

“The data from this report strongly reinforce the old adage that honesty is the best policy,” said Steve Markenson, Director of Research and Insights for FMI, in a press release. “Consumers want to know where their food comes from and how it gets made and that has held true even as the pandemic has changed grocery shopping habits. Whether online or in store, shoppers prefer brands that tell the whole story about their products.”

89% of respondents say that general nutrition facts about a product are at least somewhat important in deciding which products to buy, while 66% find this important or extremely important. Beyond nutrition facts, 80% of respondents said that important factors include other indicators of transparency such as allergen information, certifications and claims, and values-based information such as animal welfare, fair trade, and labor practices.

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The report also considered online shopping. In 2018, 26% of shoppers had purchased groceries online in the previous 30 days, a number which has grown to 55% in this survey. 47% of shoppers said that discovery of new products is easier online, compared to 23% saying harder and 30% saying about the same. Shoppers are requesting easier-to-use websites (37%), more and better product information (30%), more accurate search functionality (28%), and product recommendations based on preferences (23%).

“Transparency trends continue to evolve as omnichannel gains importance,” said Sherry Frey, VP of Total Wellness with NielsenIQ. “As consumer demand great transparency, brands have an opportunity to educate consumers, communicate sustainability and health credentials and win consumer loyalty.”