Guest Column

How To Give Consumers Everything They Want To Know About Food Products

By Angela Fernandez, VP of retail grocery and foodservice, GS1 US

Consumers increasingly have less time and more on their “to-do” lists. Luckily, technology has evolved to help us get the information we want, where we want it from, and whenever we want it. Assisted by our smartphones, we are better-equipped to find information supporting our dietary needs and lifestyles. We demand food manufacturers and retailers make product details, such as nutritionals, allergens, gluten-free, GMOs, sourcing, animal welfare, and other information available to us prior to purchase. Nearly three-quarters of respondents in a recent survey from RichRelevance say they use mobile phones while shopping in a physical store — that percentage soars to 84 percent among Millennials.

Welcome to the age of digital and physical convergence. More and more, we rely on scannable information, search engine results, product reviews, and social media posts as information sources, and we take advantage of click-and-collect models, delivered gourmet meals, and e-commerce offerings.  

In this rapidly-changing environment, it has become clear for food manufacturers and retailers that the ability to harness and present data for digital consumption is a common key factor for innovation in both the digital and physical experiences. Grocery industry suppliers, distributors, retailers, trade associations, academic institutions, and solution providers are working to deliver on the consumer’s call for greater supply chain transparency through the development of best practices and guidelines that leverage GS1 Standards, the most widely-used supply chain standards in the world.


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