The word ‘transparency’ has undergone a substantial transformation in recent years. Previously associated with being one-dimensional or thinly veiled, possessing transparency now has more positive connotations.
The shift is, in part, due to recent consumer trends demanding brands to revise product labels in order to expose ingredients and production processes perceived as misleading or harmful to our health.But as regulations continue to change and marketers take advantage of key industry buzz words, healthy brands are facing new challenges as it becomes increasingly unclear whether or not this trend has helped or hindered consumers’ outlook on product safety and health claims.
As a packaged salad and fresh produce producer, Ready Pac Foods Inc. is focused on healthy meal options and has paid close attention to this shift in consumer awareness.
“It’s definitely a double-edged sword,” Tristan Simpson, senior director of marketing and corporate communications at Ready Pac, said in a press release. “In some cases, you have consumers who simply don’t have the knowledge base and are confused by the misdirection of all of these claims, so we want to be careful not to overwhelm them. On the other end of the spectrum, you see consumers who believe themselves to be nutritional gurus and have quickly become skeptical — critical even — of any new ‘superfood’ or improved recipe claims. But rather than throwing their hands up in defeat, Ready Pac believes it’s all about consistency and providing natural, healthy options in the most straight-forward way possible.”
Although results have been mixed, the tendency has been to suggest that too little information is worse than too much. In terms of the most necessary and straight-forward product claims that factor into consumers’ purchase decisions, analyses through Symphony IRI found that sales of products with “better for you” and “dietary restriction” claims led among five macro health claim categories, accounting for 36 percent and 33 percent of total health claim sales, respectively.
Ready Pac Bistro Bowl Salads are an example of both clean health and product transparency. These on-the-go, chef-inspired bowl salads have fewer than 300 calories and include fresh, nutritious ingredients in every recipe. Ready Pac Bistro Bowls are produced in facilities that are USDA certified with daily USDA oversight and quality-assurance checks present from inception all the way to the produce aisles, and all finished products are identified by product expiration date and a designated lot number for complete traceability.
“Knowledge is power,” Simpson said. “We are committed to providing all the clarity we can so our consumers know that every Ready Pac product they buy provides them with the clean, straight-forward nutrition they have come to expect from us. It’s as simple as that.”