Full Clarity

One of twelve strategies developed in the Trust Study, with the goal of helping consumers eat more healthfully and sustainably.

The Trust Study

In collaboration with EIT Food, Future of Food Institute conducted a study to gain a deeper understanding about consumer attitudes towards the food chain, and particularly the role trust plays in that relationship.

One of the outcomes of this study is a set of twelve strategies, co-created together with European participants in the Citizen Participation Forum 2020. 

One of these strategies is Full Clarity.

What is Full Clarity?

For many consumers it’s very difficult to find out how food is produced and what it’s made of. Food companies (but also farmers and retailers) should offer full clarity about their products and their ingredients. All information that they already have will be made public.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was easy to find, reliable information about food and its ingredients, in a language that everyone can understand? That way, consumers can make better decisions about what to eat and what not to eat.

What does Full Clarity look like?

  • Clear and reliable information about the origin of all the ingredients
  • In clear language and using logos to help consumers understand the information
  • Explaining what the lesser ingredients are, and why they are being used
  • Online, found via a scannable QR code on each product or retailer label, in case of unpackaged products (e.g. fruit and vegetables)
  • Monitored by a trusted and independent organisation

Particularly retailers and manufacturers will be affected by this theme. It will lead manufacturers to source from identifiable sources, and retailers to get a clear understanding of where their products come from.

As a result, it will encourage manufacturers to think about the ingredients they use. They will use simple ones or better explain the more complicated ones.

Once consumers figure out and understand the ingredients better, they will gain higher awareness of what food is made of, and begin to show preference for products with comprehensible ingredients, 

What’s the catch?

For this strategy to work, the following point needs to be taken into account:

Information overload

More information does not necessarily mean better insights. Information must be presented in ways that consumers can easily interpret, for example by using logos or colour schemes.

What did community members say about this?

“Clear and reliable information would be fantastic. Finding products that have easy to understand labels is sometimes difficult and also the terminology used is sometimes difficult to understand. Also, knowing about the ingredients used in products would be good, and whether alternatives can be used if you are making the product yourself.”

Lyndsey, 35, Great Britain

“Perhaps manufacturers have stopped using ingredients that are not healthy. but if they were forced to use them, I would like to know their justification.”

Wioletta, 33, Poland

“I think it should be create an application that it is common to all European countries, to be able to decipher all the logos, and to be able to guide consumers. This application should also highlight the traceability of products, such as the place of production and packaging and distribution condition.”

Marie Thérèse, 39, France

Best practices: who is already doing this?

Connecting Food

Connecting Food is a digital platform that offers transparency for agri-food players and consumers, with the goal of restoring consumer trust in the food chain.

Through a QR code consumers can access information, about every step of the manufacturing process of the product they are about to purchase. The information is recorded on blockchain and all authorized participants are required to verify transactions made, making it a secure source.

Yuka

Yuka is an application which uses a database with food product, analyses their health impact, and gives them a rating. The rating is calculated based on the European Nutri-Score method, and takes into account: calories, sugar, salt, saturated fats, protein, fiber, fruits and vegetables. Next to nutritional quality, it also takes into account presence of additives, as well as whether a product is organic or not.

Our mission is to help accelerate the transition to a more sustainable food system, by including the consumer as equally relevant stakeholder.

We offer accessible and clear consumer insights that help all actors in the food chain to effectively support & seduce the consumer to make the sustainable food choice.

Laan van Meerdervoort 36 - 2517AL - Den Haag - The Netherlands - Info@futureoffood.institute