What we all expect to know about our food

July, 2023

What we all expect to know about our food

How are consumer expectations changing?
They expect what they are looking for in a store to be available, and to be fully informed. Furthermore, many believe they are entitled to more information, more access, and more responsiveness on food availability, traceability, safety, and sustainability. 

The recent Avery Dennison report "The Missing Billions: the real cost of supply chain waste" revealed the food industry is losing $155 billion annually due to food waste. Furthermore, 33% of consumers are willing to switch brands for the sake of transparency, and 73% are willing to pay a premium for products offering complete transparency in their packaging. Here are the big four shoppers expectations:

1. Availability
57% of consumers are concerned about food scarcity1

Why are there empty shelves? Wherever the problem is in the supply chain, consumers lay the blame with the retail brand. Vulnerabilities in food supply chains are not going away. The challenge is how omnichannel retailers manage unpredictable events and consumer expectations across channels - in-store, in the app or on the site.

2. Traceability
37% of food shoppers say more information about ingredients would encourage them to buy products, especially sustainable products1.

Is it really made locally? How was it produced, and what is the journey from source to shelf? Consumers understandably want to know the details about what they eat by creating a transparent supply chain and communicating the provenance of products effectively, retail brands can gain trust and build loyalty. Suddenly traceability becomes a competitive advantage! 

What we all expect to know about our food

3. Safety
Food safety remains a major issue. The EU recorded over 4000 recalls2 in the food and beverages industry in 2022.

Consumers trust the food they buy to be safe to eat. When this trust is broken it can be devastating for a brand’s reputation. By improving traceability, monitoring and communication, retailers, restaurants and producers are significantly reducing the risk of failures in food safety. Including clear information for ingredients linked to allergies. 

4. Sustainability
4% of global greenhouse gas emissions are from food waste, and the majority of this occurs  in the supply chain1

Consumers want to buy food from brands and companies they believe reflect their own environmental values. Rightly, industry leaders are under the spotlight to reduce waste for both its commercial and environmental impact.

Proven technologies exist to help the food industry understand their customers and meet their expectations. Digital identification technologies such as RFID, are the key to providing management with real-time, accurate data from across the entire supply chain. Accurate, real-time data provides leaders with the insights they need to inform decision making and ensure that shelves are stocked, food is sold as fresh as possible, and waste is reduced. And at the end of the day, having the right product, in the right place, at the right time means happy customers and healthier profits.


1 The Missing Billions: The real cost of supply chain waste
The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2022

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