SmartSPEC™ to Help Retailers Increase Transparency Around Food Product Sustainability

Label Insight - leading provider of SaaS data solutions providing insights and strengthening the connections between CPG brands, retailers and consumers - announces the launch of its Sustainability SmartSPEC™ solution. The Sustainability SmartSPEC is customizable based on a retailer's unique sustainability initiatives in categories such as environmental impact, animal welfare and farming techniques. It contains more than 500 attributes such as recycled materials, BPA-free, cage-free, hormone-free and sustainably grown, enabling retailers to better understand and select their inventory and provide consumers with the information they seek about sustainable products.

A SmartSPEC™ is a custom set of attributes that allows retailers to gain deeper insights into their inventory. The Sustainability SmartSPEC™ joins Label Insight's SmartSPEC for SmartLabel, which helps CPG companies quickly and easily participate in the SmartLabel initiative. SmartSPEC draws on Label Insight's 15 years of product data attribution experience and the knowledge of its dietetics, food science, nutrition and technology experts. SmartLabel was developed by the Grocery Manufacturers Association to meet the public’s desire for more information about the products they use and consume, and in November, Hershey announced it would be the first brand to adopt it.

"We are experiencing a consumer-driven food revolution," said Anton Xavier, Chief Product Officer at Label Insight. "As consumers become increasingly sophisticated with regard to their food-purchasing decisions, we see a shift in what is most important to them. Retailers are facing an increased demand for transparency in product information from production methods to packaging, as well as information about the ingredients they're putting into their bodies."

Product sustainability has become an important consideration for consumers as they make their food purchasing decisions. In fact, according to data collected by Label Insight through a survey of more than 1,500 consumers, more than a third of consumers (37 percent) say they consider whether a product is produced using sustainable methods when making purchase decisions. Sustainably produced products ranked above organic, low-sugar, low-fat, clean-labeled and allergen-free in terms of importance when making a purchasing decision.

Categories of attributes in the Sustainability SmartSPEC™ include:

  • Farming Practices (e.g., Organically Grown, No Pesticides, Hormone Free Ingredients)
  • Animal Welfare (e.g., Pasture Raised, Cage-Free and Humane Certified)
  • Sustainable Seafood (e.g., Dolphin Safe Certification and Sustainable Seafood Claim)
  • Business Principles (e.g., Certified Fair Trade Claim and Ethical Claim)
  • Production Methods (e.g., Energy-Efficient Claim, Responsibly Produced Claim)
  • Packing Material/Recycling (e.g., BPA-Free Claim and Compostable Certification)
  • Ingredients (e.g., All-Natural Claim, 100% Organic Claim and Non-GMO Certified)
  • Environmental (e.g., Carbon-Free Claim, Renewable Energy and Rainforest Alliance-Certified)
  • Health/Nutrition (e.g., FDA Low-Fat Claim and Heart-Healthy)

Label Insight's study also revealed that, beyond impacting food purchasing decisions, sustainable food practices encourage brand loyalty. Sustainability ranks higher in the customer decision-making process than brand recognition when it comes to pledging their brand allegiance. The top three attributes related to sustainability that consumers weigh most heavily are: product health/nutrition (37 percent), farming techniques (34 percent) and animal welfare (34 percent).

"Retailers looking to connect with consumers on food transparency and offer a deeper omni-channel experience across channels need greater insight into product attributes and digital information that's easy for customers to access," Xavier added. "Label Insight's Sustainability SmartSPEC™ empowers retailers to choose and organize specific attributes surrounding this important topic."


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