Rising concerns and demands for customer over food transparency -what is the food made of, how the food is process and the source of their foods. The food industry is required for greater amount of transparency compared to what it used to. Consumers wants to know what they ate or about to eat and food companies are left with little choice of "not disclosing information" that result to unhappy customers given the current competitive market.
Is there an agreement of how consumers voice their concerns to food manufacturers versus how food manufacturer disclose information?
Food manufacturers listed to consumer voice through many channels such as social media (facebook, twitter etc), blogs, consumer movements, industry trends, and sales values (actual versus forecast). Compliance to local food law and regulations is a must.
Disclosure of informations are generally through different channels such as company website, social media , packaging materials or through company's technical service representatives.
Company website will generally provide information regarding company background, objectives, branding and product information. Social media such as facebook and twitter allows for more one-to-one connection between the company and the consumers. Packaging materials usually contains information required by local food law and regulations and might not contain all information that a consumer needs. I find that the best way is the contact a company technical representative -they will be able to help with any customer request and provide a timely answer.
There are hidden distribution channel that not everyone are aware of- how a food product is channelled from a food manufacturer to the final consumers (ie. how many distributors are utilized during the process) and in many occasion, we cannot tell (unless we are in the process). Food manufacturer listen to their customer (primary distributor) and primary distributor listen to their customer (could be another distributor or customer) and the process goes on and on until it reaches the final customer, who purchased the products. Channelling of information can be challenging in that manner.
Are you channelling your voice correctly? Who should you choose to channel your information? Food manufacturer cannot make any changes unless their customer wants it to change, distributor cannot ask food manufacturer to make any changes because they have no rights to make the changes.
Food voices are strong when it is collective effort and when the industry recognize it through market trend or as part of law and regulation. Consumer voice will be heard at times when sales is low. The food industry is so competitive that if there is a trend in consumer voice, there will be a new product launched to meet consumers demand.
About the Author:
Felicia Loo is a food science graduate from UBC. With an interest in food marketing, she explores how food products are created, marketed, and distributed to an end users.
Find me on LinkedIn. Tweet me @felicialoo. Visit me at www.felicialoo.com.
Copyright ©Felicia Loo 2015
Disclaimer: This blog article is solely reflective of my personal thoughts. While every caution has been taken to provide my readers with most accurate information and honest analysis, please use your discretion before taking any decisions based on the information in this blog. Author will not compensate you in any way whatsoever if you ever happen to suffer a loss/inconvenience/damage because of/while making use of information in this blog.