On-pack: too good to be true

Research released by Campden BRI has found that consumers pay more attention to on-pack claims related to nutrition, sustainability, ethical issues, ‘clean label’ and provenance than to sensory-based claims such as “great taste”.

It is apparent that there is a lack of standardisation and accountability leaving brands free to create their own sustainability labels and claims. Overall, the success of a product’s claim differs depending on the type of product it is used on and the country in which it is promoted.

Terms, such as sustainability, and advertising claims can spark scepticism, which means consumers are unsure whether a company is merely talking up a product’s eco-credentials.

For consumers, it’s often difficult to tell fact from fiction for some environmental claims. With myriad certifications and seals of approval placed on products, it is no wonder that many consumers think that brands are actively hindering their efforts to live more sustainably. 

Campden BRI’s research will go some way in helping food producers to elevate a products’ messaging above the noise of USPs and inform food business operators to identify the most effective approach.

With limited on-pack real estate and limited opportunity to catch consumers’ attention, it’s more important than ever that claims resonate and impact consumer purchasing behaviour. 

Brands that resonate with what consumers are looking for in terms of accuracy: informing them why and how a particular product is, is a break away from the logos, seals and stamps which hinder the penetration of on-pack claims.

Similarly, consumers want to know what to do with the product and so here brands have an opportunity to utilise on-pack messaging. This is apparent in recycling where among consumers who, wanting to do the right thing, will dispose of an item incorrectly, potentially causing further problems down the waste management chain.

It’s clear that underpinning everything, consumers must understand what the product claim is trying to say. Simple, accurate messages that consumers understand make the information shared actually useful to their way of life.

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to finding the right claim for a product. As Campden BRI finds, a “detailed understanding of the product category, social influences and cultural context are essential in ensuring that a sensory claim has relevance and meaning for the consumer.”

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