From the horse meat scandal to the counterfeit foods crisis, UK consumers have been hit with incident after incident over the past few years. Given the crumbling reputation of the food industry, it comes as no surprise that they are exercising more caution than ever before when it comes to consuming food and drink. In fact, according to TraceOneView, 63% of consumers feel that their trust in the food industry has been broken in light of recent events such as the horsemeat scandal. So what can the industry do to regain the trust of their customers and rebuild a healthy relationship? Below are some useful suggestions that are guaranteed to help rebuild confidence.
With a huge 83% of consumers stating that they wanted to see increased transparency and clearer product labelling, this is one of the key areas that food manufacturers should be focussing on. This involves labelling each and every ingredient in a way that is clearly visible to consumers.
Heightened supply chain regulation
With many of the recent food industry scandals involving supply chain fiascos, the heightened regulation of ingredient movement has emerged as a key factor in winning back the trust of consumers. For fresh foods, the country of origin is a must. For processed foods that involve several suppliers, it is essential for manufacturers and retailers to comply with government regulations.
One of the best ways to rebuild consumer trust is to buy local ingredients. While the food industry has undergone several damaging blows, the idea of premium British quality is still well and truly alive. According to recent research from Mintel confirming that many consumers are willing to pay more for British produce in order to support the local economy as well as ensure they receive a premium quality product.
While small and medium sized businesses do not have the resources to carry out in-house testing, many large scale industry leaders such as Tesco and Waitrose have pledged to build and operate on-site testing units designed to regulate their meat.
Other ‘feel-good’ efforts
As well as responding to consumer demand for transparent labelling and heightened supply chain regulation, many food manufacturers have been turning to other trust building techniques in order to regain the confidence of their customers. The trend for sustainable packaging has skyrocketed in the past year, helping companies to not only portray an environmental conscience but also to establish themselves as a responsible and trustworthy organisation.
As a collective group of organisations, it is important for UK food manufacturers, suppliers and retailers to do everything they can to win back the trust of consumers. At QADEX we want to help food businesses get back on their feet, and our software can certainly keep companies one step ahead of the game to ensure their brand reputation is not affected. Click here to find out more.