Consumers seek transparency on sustainable ingredients amidst challenges in accessing information

In a recent study conducted by ingredients producer Ardent Mills, it was revealed that an overwhelming 85% of consumers prioritize ingredients when making food purchasing decisions. Despite this, over half of consumers face difficulties accessing crucial information regarding sourcing and product origins, highlighting a growing demand for transparency in the food industry.

The Trend to Table report from Ardent Mills found that 83% of consumers regularly scrutinize food labels, with a significant portion paying close attention to both ingredient lists and nutrition profiles. Mr. Matt Schueller, Director of Marketing Insights at Ardent Mills, emphasized the abundance of information available to consumers and urged food companies to leverage this to their advantage.

However, despite the desire for ethical purchasing, 57% of consumers struggle to find information on sourcing and product origins. Ardent Mills sees an opportunity to help food manufacturers better understand consumer behaviour and adapt to evolving preferences. Schueller noted a shift in consumer consciousness, with an increasing realization that present decisions impact future generations. Sustainability emerges as a critical consideration for consumers, encompassing products, people, and processes. Schueller emphasized the importance of the “people” aspect in sustainability efforts, highlighting consumers’ desire for confidence that their choices have a meaningful impact.

While some food manufacturers are prioritizing sustainability to develop innovative products, challenges remain, including the premium pricing of sustainable products. Despite this, nearly 60% of consumers are willing to pay more for foods made with whole and/or less processed ingredients, indicating a growing awareness of the impact of food choices on personal health and the environment. As consumers continue to prioritize transparency and sustainability, food companies are urged to provide accessible and accurate information to empower informed purchasing decisions.