Knowledge is power so empower your consumers

Robert Lilienfeld

September 22, 2015

2 Min Read
Knowledge is power so empower your consumers
What do consumers really want from packaged products? It likely isn’t what you think.

When it comes to full disclosure about products and packaging, just do it, advises Eco-Insights blogger Robert Lilienfeld.

Forty years ago, when “nutritional transparency” was the issue du jour, food companies were concerned that the advent of government mandated nutritional labeling would scare away customers. It didn’t happen—we’re still here and, frankly, fatter than ever.

In fact, research done at that time by P&G showed that while 95% of consumers said they were concerned about nutrition, only 5% actually read the information listed on packages. A more recent, 2011 study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, corroborated those results.

Today, the big issue of concern is whether to mandate labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Again, food marketers and retailers are quaking in their boots.

However, a just-released study done at the University of Vermont concludes that consumers don’t view GMO labels as negative warnings, and that the labels would not scare them away from buying products with GMO ingredients. And I quote:

"When you look at consumer opposition to the use of GM technologies in food and account for the label, we found that overall the label has no direct impact on opposition. And it increased support for GM in some demographic groups, " said Jane Kolodinsky, author of the study and professor and chair of the Department of Community Development and Applied Economics at the University of Vermont.

We already know what tomorrow’s issue du jour will be: Transparency regarding what’s in both products and packaging.

Relax. History shows that while people say they want information, what they really want is to believe that you care enough about them to provide it. So, go ahead. In fact, be proactive and let the public know that you are happy to keep them up to date.

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessary reflect those of Packaging Digest or the organizations with which Mr. Lilienfeld works.


What do you think? Please comment below.

Missed one of Bob's blogs? Read them here.


Robert (Bob) Lilienfeld has been involved with sustainable packaging for more than 20 years. He is currently editor of The ULS (Use Less Stuff) Report, a marketing and communications consultant to AMERIPEN and other organizations, and is a professional photographer.

About the Author(s)

Robert Lilienfeld

Robert Lilienfeld Consulting

Robert (Bob) Lilienfeld has been involved in sustainable packaging for 25 years, working as a marketing executive, consultant, strategic planner, editor, writer, and communications expert. He’s President of Robert Lilienfeld Consulting, working with materials suppliers, converters, trade associations, retailers, and brand owners. He also recently founded SPRING, The Sustainable Packaging Research, Information, and Networking Group. Reach him at [email protected].

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