Our houses are filled with chemicals. There are over 80,000 chemicals used in the U.S. in everyday products such as cosmetics, household cleaners, and food. Most of those chemicals have not been sufficiently tested, according to Natural Resources Defense Council.
Consumers want to know what is in the products they buy. Surveys reveal that consumers want transparency from the companies that supply the everyday products they use. A 2016 survey of over 1,500 consumers found that 37 percent said they are willing to switch brands if their current brand does not provide them with the product information they want. Product transparency influences the purchases of 71 percent of consumers surveyed.
A 2017 survey found that nine out of 10 said they want to see transparency in ingredients and their sources in food. Seventy percent said their purchases are often or always influenced by transparency content.
“Consumers want to know what is in the food, beverage, personal care, and household products they buy for themselves and for their families; concerns about nutrition, health, product safety, usage instructions, environmental impact, and allergens are just as much a part of the grocery shopping experience as the grocery cart itself,” writes Sally Greenberg, executive director of the National Consumers League, in a blog post.
Apps can help consumers know more about products
Sometimes something as simple as an app can help solve a problem. SmartLabel is an app that provides consumers with the ingredients, nutrition information and allergens for over 30,000 food, beverage, personal care, and household products sold in grocery stores. Consumers use their smartphones to scan barcodes or QR codes on the products. Once the product is scanned, a SmartLabel website page gives the consumer a slew of information, including ingredients, nutritional facts, and third party certifications.
SmartLabel “provides more information than could ever fit on a package label,” Katie McBreen, Vice President, Communications and Research, Grocery Manufacturers Association, told Naturally Savvy. “Consumers instantaneously have access to a wide variety of information – and can hone in on a question they have on an ingredient or product in just one or two clicks,” she added.
Created by the Trading Partner Alliance (TPA), a group formed by the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the SmartLabel app provides consumers with valuable information about the products they buy in grocery stores. The app is used by over 40 major companies for food, beverage, personal care, household and other products. The desire for consumers to know more about the groceries they purchase has caused a sevenfold increase in products using SmartLabel since early last year according to a study by Grocery Manufacturers Association and Food Marketing Institute.
Other apps exist to provide consumers with the information about products. Whether it is personal care and household products, cosmetics, or food, an app exists to guide a consumer. GoodGuide provides apps for both Apple and Android phones which gives consumers information about over 65,000 personal care and household products by scanning a product’s barcode. Think Dirty provides information about cosmetics and beauty products. Fooducate helps people who want to know what is in food products.