Study Highlights Importance of Transparency on Food Labels

Study Highlights Importance of Transparency on Food Labels

Research by Maheen Chaudry Analyses How Transparent Labels Impact Customer Purchasing Behaviours

Having recently completed an IBA degree in Logistics and International Trade, Maheen Chaudry decided to focus her graduation assignment on the subject of food safety and food transparency. According to Chaudry, this is an important field of research because consumers are becoming increasingly interested in these topics, and more conscious about their choices. 

She emphasises that the need for transparency has been highlighted by several scandals, tragedies and crises that have plagued the food industry throughout history. “For this reason, people have significant concerns regarding the safety and quality of the food they consume daily, modifying their shopping lists and sharing their worries on social media, which makes food transparency a global trend,” the graduate points out. 

Titled ‘What are the Impacts of Transparent Food Labels on Customer Purchasing Behaviour?’, the study is based on qualitative methods. To gather the data, the student conducted interviews with a diverse set of participants, including both consumers and supermarket managers. While the face-to-face interviews with the managers were arranged via email, consumers were randomly selected from a local store. 

Among other topics, Chaudry asked respondents about their awareness of transparent labels, how they perceive customer demands for transparency and how transparent labels influence decision-making processes regarding consumption. 

In line with previous literature, her research concludes that consumers actively engage with food labels for various reasons. By having access to transparent labels, consumers are reassured that the food they consume is produced, manufactured and supplied in accordance with the law and human rights. Furthermore, as consumers gravitate towards items that offer transparency and comply with ethical principles, brands that invest in transparent labelling practices are likely to see an increase in sales. 

“There's a noticeable increase in this behaviour over time. Additionally, while some consumers express satisfaction with the current information available on transparent food labels, others advocate for more comprehensive details, seeking insight into the entire production process, including manufacturing, distribution and storage,” Chaudry highlights. 

Currently working as a Facility & Student Support Assistant at Wittenborg, the graduate, originally from Pakistan, says that she would like to stay in the Netherlands and keep progressing in her career. “As for my future plans, I am excited to transition into the role of Facility & Student Support Coordinator at Wittenborg, where I aim to contribute with my skills and knowledge in a new capacity,” she underlines.

WUP 02/02/2024

by Ulisses Sawczuk

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