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    Expert Column: How Retailers Can Ease Consumers’ Ingredient Fears

    Impact on food, personal care products can be profound

    By Janet Oak, Daymon Worldwide

    All around the world, but especially here in the United States, brands and retailers are jostling to respond quickly to escalating consumer fears about potentially harmful ingredients in food and personal care products.

    The examples are endless. CVS banned tobacco sales in its stores and, most recently, amped up its CVS health services to become America's biggest operator of health clinics. As of April 2015, Chipotle has phased out genetically modified ingredients from its food, and further disrupted the QSR world with naturally raised meat, organic produce and hormone-free diary for under $10.

    Personal care products are no exception. Just walk the aisles of almost any grocery or convenience store aisle, and you’ll see a surprising proliferation of new organic skin care and cosmetics now available for purchase.

    With headlines continuing to swirl about consumer demand for cleaner ingredient labels, more organic product choices, and total transparency in the supply chain, Daymon Worldwide sought out more information about how these fears were translating into retail-specific behaviors.

    In June 2015, our Custom Shopper Insights team recruited 1,000 respondents, ages 18 and older,  to take an online survey regarding their greatest fears about specific ingredients in food and personal care products, and how those fears affected shopping behaviors and purchase decisions. The respondents, 50 percent male and 50 percent female, were nationally representative across U.S. regions, and half of them were parents.

    According to the study results, 40 percent of consumers have lost their enjoyment of the foods they eat, due to safety and quality concerns, and many are actively seeking stores that offer product alternatives. Nearly twice as many parents as nonparents report these anxieties.

    The study also revealed that products that manage, prevent and cure health ailments are having the greatest impact on consumer attitudes about food and personal care products. In fact, 53 percent of respondents said that their heightened fears are driving greater demand for food and personal care products with fewer ingredients and stricter guidelines.

    By Janet Oak, Daymon Worldwide
    • About Janet Oak Janet Oak is head of global advisory and custom shopper insights at Stamford, Conn.-based Daymon Worldwide.For more information, or to purchase a complete copy of the study, contact her at [email protected]

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