A smart new world: preparing for the mobile shopper

Consumers take great interest in the attributes of the food products they purchase - they are demanding an increasing array of information on issues including country of origin, nutrition, social, ethical, religious suitability and allergens. There are physical limitations on the information that can be displayed on the printed product label. However, new technologies (such as smartphones) allow a much greater array of product information to be ready available by scanning the product.

Cadence Economics, in association with the Australian Food and Grocery Council, Telstra and GS1, have launched a new report examining the economic opportunities and challenges associated with using new technologies to improve the delivery of product information to consumers.

Extended (digital) product labelling has the potential to cost-effectively address consumer demands for information, compared with traditional (printed) product labels. However, for the opportunity to be realised, widespread uptake is required by brand owners to ensure comprehensive information is uploaded in a standardised format. In the absence of this information, third-party or 'crowd-sourced' product information is already becoming commonplace in smartphone apps, but this information can sometimes be inaccurate or out-of-date.

As the report discusses, there are opportunities to address demands for more information in a way that avoids the high costs associated with traditional regulatory approaches, but also risks to the food industry from delays in adoption of this technology that could result in inaccurate crowd-sourced information being used by consumers.

Click here for the full report.

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