Many well-read consumers know what ingredients they want and those they seek to avoid. This knowledge can make them wary of the bold claims on packages — especially when it comes to “all natural.”
Only 15% of Americans trust this claim, 18% never trust it, and 67% sometimes trust it, according to Nielsen’s 2017 sustainability survey.
“This is something we’ve found this last quarter that’s really fascinating,” Melissa Abbott, vice-president, retainer services, The Hartman Group, told Karlee Renkoski, associate editor, for the April issue of Baking & Snack magazine. “The consumer base is becoming more suspicious of callouts. They see a callout and think, ‘They’re trying to sell me something.’”
With highlighted claims, consumers are looking for more detailed information about the natural ingredient itself, Ms. Abbott noted. Instead of good fats, for instance, informed shoppers want to see good fats from grass-fed butter or fats from avocado oil.
“(There’s) a growing desire among consumers to move past general claims of ‘all natural’ to more specifically understand the kind of food they’re buying,” LEK Consulting management stated in its report “Consumer Health Claims 3.0: The Next Generation of Mindful Food Consumption.”
The study also said callouts like antibiotic-free, no-added chemicals and cage-free should do well on product packaging. However, consumer skepticism doesn’t mean all packaging callouts should be changed. For example, highlighting a specific diet using keto- or paleo-friendly is beneficial, especially to those purchasers who are on the prowl for products that align with those specific diets.
For bakers and snack producers, maybe the lesson is to be transparent and honest. That’s something that all smart shoppers appreciate.