Food Safety, Regulations and Labelling Market - Global Annual Review - 2016
As consumers demand to know more about the products they purchase and consume, companies must focus on keeping communication open and honest. Brands must continue to focus on being transparent with consumers to rebuild or establish trust. Several factors are forcing this push for greater transparency. Undeniably, food safety is an ever-pressing concern for consumers that continues to degrade trust in the food supply chain. The outbreak of avian flu in the US early in 2015, was another example of a food safety scare that further damaged the reputation of the US poultry industry and also triggered an egg shortage, driving up the demand for egg replacers.
Nutritional labels and front-of-pack labeling still cause confusion among most consumers. Calls for product labelling to be clearer but more informative can help install confidence into brands and their products, and help consumers make better dietary decisions. While the growing free-from market needs to work on visibly communicating the presence and absence of allergens, a focus on the nutritional profile of free-from products will become more important as more consumers are voluntarily entering the market, attracted by its supposed health benefits.
A lot of the regulatory activity in 2015 was also centered on consumers, with initiatives focusing on improving health and achieving greater transparency. Efforts to better define ‘natural’ in regards to food and drink products were seen in Ireland and have just began in the US, with the aim of better protecting consumers against being misled. Meanwhile, many nations are starting to react to the pressure to wean consumers off their sugar habit. The introduction of sugar taxes is an example of governments trying to encourage consumers to adopt healthier behaviours.
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