Why Transparency Matters In The Food Manufacturing Industry

Natural Food Transparency TraceabilityOver time, food labels have gone from nonexistent to largely ignored. But once again, that’s all changing. The long-overlooked food label is now closely scrutinized by consumers with high expectations. What does that mean for food manufacturers? It means transparency is more important than ever. Not only are consumers more selective, but they can also spot when a food label is cutting corners.

Here’s what you need to know to keep up with a growing demand for transparency in the food marketing industry.

What Do Consumers Expect?

In short, everything.

Today’s consumers are used to immediate gratification when it comes to having information. Years of lightning-speed answers mean expectations are higher than before. And it’s not just the speed of information, it’s also the breadth.

Consumers want to know at a glance what is in their food product. What’s more, they want to know what’s NOT in it. Peanuts, gluten, GMO — it’s incumbent on the food manufacturer to spell out exactly what is and isn’t included.

It doesn’t stop at ingredients. Consumers are also curious about food sourcing. They want to know where it comes from and how it’s been prepared. What used to be confined to specialty food marketing is now expanding into common food products.  Another post you may be interested in: “What Does Clean Label Really Mean?”

What Are the Biggest Challenges for the Food Industry?

Compliance is the easy part. You’ve got the information at your fingertips, so it’s a matter of getting it out there in an honest and transparent way.

The food industry has long been the target of intense scrutiny — and for good reason. After all, it’s an issue of public safety. But the new rigor surrounding marketing and transparency is relatively new to the industry. Some of the coming challenges include overcoming loose definitions (what is natural?) and consumer skepticism (how do I know it was “free range”?).

At the end of the day, the biggest challenge will be to earn and keep the trust of your target consumer base.

Some Cool Examples of Innovation

Sometimes a paper food label isn’t enough — or maybe it’s just not cool enough. Not to worry, the wheels are turning in industry innovation.

SafeTraces is a good example. It specializes in on-product markers that are completely biological in nature, using actual seaweed DNA sequences as a sort of spray. As such, a food manufacturer can say with confidence exactly where a piece of produce came from and whether it’s been swapped out along the way. Likewise, arc-net combats so-called “food fraud” via a blockchain platform to track food products from start to finish.

Ideas like these are giving food manufacturers the tools to be more transparent than ever.

What Does PacMoore Offer?

As a leader in food manufacturing, we’ve got our feet in a lot of doors and plenty of solutions to show you. Contact us today to learn more.

Contact PacMoore

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Chris Bekermeier

Vice President, Marketing and Legal Affairs

Chris’ experience with Scott Paper and ConAgra has allowed him to sell and manage leading brands such as Scottissue®, Viva® Towels, Healthy Choice® and Butterball®. He received his B.S. in business management from Eastern Illinois University and his M.B.A. from the University of Chicago. Chris currently leads marketing efforts to grow PacMoore’s food contract manufacturing business in the areas of dry blending, spray drying, extrusion, re-packaging, and consumer packaging.