The US GMA (Grocery Manufacturers Association) has announced its SmartLabel technology initiative that will enable consumers to have easy and instantaneous access to detailed information about thousands of products.
The US GMA (Grocery Manufacturers Association) has announced its SmartLabel technology initiative, supported by leading food, beverage and consumer products companies, that will enable consumers to have easy and instantaneous access to detailed information about thousands of products.More than 30 major companies are said to be already committed to taking part in the transparency initiative. The new program, created by manufacturers and retailers, enables consumers to get additional details about products by scanning a bar code or doing an online search to reach a landing page with information on ingredients and other attributes of a wide range of food, beverage, pet care, household and personal care products. “People want more information and are asking more questions about products they buy, use and consume, and SmartLabel puts detailed information right at their fingertips,” said Pamela G. Bailey, president and CEO of the GMA. “SmartLabel is a modern technology that will change how people shop and will help them get answers to questions they have on the products they purchase when they want that information.”SmartLabel will provide access to information on hundreds of attributes covering thousands of products, including nutritional information, ingredients, allergens, third-party certifications, social compliance programs, usage instructions, advisories and safe handling instructions and company/brand information, along with other pertinent information about the product.A recent survey by Benenson Strategy Group found that 75% of consumers said they would be likely to use SmartLabel, showing, said the GMA, that the program will meet a consumer desire for more product information.Each individual product in SmartLabel will have a specific landing page containing detailed information from the manufacturer on ingredients and other product attributes. All SmartLabel landing pages are organised in a similar format, with a consistent look across products, whether the consumer is looking at a gallon of ice cream or a gallon of laundry detergent. Consumers will be able to find this detailed product information in several ways: by scanning a QR code on the package, using a web search such as through Google, Yahoo or Bing, going to a participating company’s web site, or eventually through an app. A number of retailers have said that they can help shoppers without smartphones via their customer service desk in stores. In addition, both online and brick and mortar stores are said to be exploring ways to make SmartLabel more accessible to their customers such as by posting the SmartLabel link on their page to allow access in one click or through customer service desks.Some companies are beginning to offer products using SmartLabel late this year and early in 2016, with projections of nearly 30,000 total products using SmartLabel by the end of 2017. Early estimates indicate that within five years, more than 80% of the food, beverage, pet care, personal care and household products that consumers buy will be using SmartLabel.Major food, beverage and consumer products companies already committed to using SmartLabel to provide detailed information about their products include ConAgra Foods, Hormel Foods, Campbell Soup Company, Knouse Foods, Land O’Lakes, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Nestle, Hershey, J.M. Smucker Company, Kellogg Company, General Mills, McCormick & Company, Bimbo Bakeries USA, Bruce Foods Corporation, Bumble Bee Seafoods, Ferraro USA, Flowers Foods, Reily Foods Company, Rich Products Corporation, Sunny Delight Beverages Co., Tyson Foods, Inc., Ahold USA, Topco LLC, The WhiteWave Foods Company, Pharmavite LLC, Clorox, Colgate-Palmolive, Procter & Gamble and Unilever.