Nielsen: Label transparency can boost sales
NEW YORK — A new report from Nielsen is highlighting the big role that easy-to-understand labels can play in driving product sales. The report shows that consumers want clarity from their product labels about what they contain, and that products with specific product claims are seeing dollar growth.
According to insights from Nielsen strategic partner Label Insight, 39% of consumers in the United States say they would switch from their current brand to one that provides clearer, more accurate product information, and 68% are willing to pay more for foods and beverages that don’t have ingredients they perceive as bad for them. For 53% of consumers, the exclusion of undesirable ingredients is more important than including beneficial ingredients.
This interest is taking place across categories. While food and beverage categories tend to be the ones most commonly associated with label transparency demand, sales of organic vitamins and supplements have grown 25% over last year, and sales of personal care products free of artificial fragrances that also tout a natural claim have increased 6% since last year, the report says.
Among food and beverage products, packages that say “free of additives and artificial ingredients” see an 8% dollar growth, with “all natural” claims spurring 7.8% dollar growth and products without artificial colors see nearly 6% dollar growth. However, Nielsen data has found that only 7% of products free of artificial colors advertise that fact.
“So the insight here for manufacturers and retailers is clear: Identify explicit consumer needs and then make sure their product labels appropriately publicize desirable attributes,” the report says. “That’s because today’s consumers are just as concerned about ingredients and formulations as they are about being able to understand those formulations when they’re printed on a package.”
So-called “clean-label” products — those that are free of artificial ingredients and items on the Nielsen and Label Insight undesirable ingredients list — and products without artificial colors and sweeteners have each seen 1.2% sales growth compared to a year ago, as conventional products see a 0.3% decline.
And Nielsen notes that small companies are making the most of the space opening up with the clean-label revolution. Among companies that market food and beverages that are at least free of artificial ingredients, the smallest companies are seeing 9% sales growth — outpacing the largest companies’ 5% sales growth. The largest companies also are seeing a 1.7% decline in sales for conventional products where the smallest companies are seeing 2.6% growth.
These sales gains aren’t limited to healthy food. In fact, the category that has seen the most dollar growth among clean-label products is salty snacks, followed by candy and new age beverage.
“Contrary to what you might expect, the salty snack, frozen food, cookie and candy categories are seeing marked growth with clean label products,” the report says. “Clean label ice cream, for example, drove an incremental $106 million to the ice cream category in the last year, growing dollar sales by 26.5%. This purchase behavior confirms the notion that consumers will gravitate toward products with ingredients they trust and can easily understand, even when they’re seeking an indulgence.”
Nielsen also notes that the importance of health claims varies by generation, with millennials and Generation X indexing highest in the importance of such claims as organic, GMO-free and hormone-free, as well as income level, with consumers making less than $20,000 a year noting that these are of low importance to them. The consumers making between $20,000 and $100,000 are the ones that index highest in terms of the importance of these claims.
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Schmidt’s Naturals marks autumn with new scent
PORTLAND, Ore. — Natural deodorant maker Schmidt’s Naturals is marking the coming season change with a new scent. The company has teamed up with Edens Garden to create the new Earth + Wood scent.
The new scent is made with essential oils from Edens Garden, which include notes of vetiver and cedarwood, as well as accents of damiana.
“Schmidt’s Naturals’ distinct point of view in the natural industry has translated into the brand’s organic popularity amongst our customers,” Schmidt’s Naturals chief global strategy officer Michael Cammarata said. “As we continue to grow and expand, Schmidt’s brand partnerships and product offerings will evolve to meet customers where they are going and differentiate ourselves in the marketplace.”
The company this year has expanded its footprint in retail, entering Whole Foods, Target and Kroger.
“We know it’s not just about giving our customers deodorant that works—it’s about a lifestyle and an experience beyond the product,” founder and chief product officer Jaime Schmidt said. “By collaborating with Edens Garden, we are merging the best aspects of both brands to delight and surprise. Earth + Wood is an homage to my favorite season, autumn. It’s designed to take users on a sensory journey through earth and wood.”
The new scent is available on the company’s website and EdensGarden.com in original and sensitive skin formulations, with suggested retail prices of $8.99 and $10.99, respectively.
“Edens Garden has a longstanding reputation of offering quality essential oils and aromatherapy products,” Edens Garden founder and president Grace Martin said. By partnering with Schmidt’s, Edens Garden is making our Earth + Wood synergy blend accessible in a finished product. Its unique aroma is reminiscent of freshness and complexity that customers are sure to love.”
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HRG names new data assets manager
WAUKESHA, Wis. — Hamacher Resource Group on Wednesday promoted Lisa Lopez to data assets manager. HRG’s data assets team is responsible for critical product content input into the HRG master database, as well as maintenance and review of data and images to ensure they are accurate and up-to-date.
“Lisa has worked in various departments during her tenure here, and is well-versed in our business, our culture and the industry," stated Dawn Vogelsang, president of HRG and member of the owners group. "She will be a valuable addition to our management team and I look forward to her continued contributions.”
The database is the information source for the majority of HRG client projects and services. Lopez, a 12-year HRG veteran, will be responsible for ensuring the data asset teams’ timely capture and ongoing review of product descriptive content, maintaining quality standards, and ensuring the continued growth of team members.
Mary Hart, Lopez’s most recent manager, said, “I could see Lisa’s potential as a leader, but there were no present opportunities available for her advancement. I felt so strongly about her strengths and abilities that I wanted to switch roles to give her the opportunity for growth. I’m excited to see how Lisa’s ideas and innovations will continue to strengthen the team while protecting the integrity of our data.”
“Mary’s desire to see a member of her team thrive and grow by offering to switch positions is a testament to the extraordinary group of people we have here at HRG," Vogelsang added. "Mary felt it was the right time for Lisa to advance, and also wants to start a new chapter in her career at HRG.”
Congratulations to a very quick study and tireless contributor. When I first hired Lisa, I knew she had tremendous potential. So excited to see this new opportunity emerging for her and for the selfless leadership demonstrated by Mary Hart.