The word “trend” may be a glossy-eyed buzzword these days, especially in the food industry, but it’s still such a useful one. Often times, trends are the driving force behind healthy, unhealthy, or merely unconcerned decisions. There’s no need to list them out, surely if you’ve stepped foot in a grocery store within the time frame of oh, say the last sixty years or so, you noticed what trend was in.
Which brings us to the next one. Organic has had its day in the sun, but consumers want more. Who could blame them? With the overhyped promises that fail to deliver on the many products on the shelf today, we’re all a little cock eyed at the claims, studying the ingredient lists like a med school student on the day of finals. This seems to be more common amongst parents who are rightly concerned about what their kids are throwing on the floor and then putting in their mouths. It’s bad enough they let the dog lick it first, let’s at least start off well from the package. Right?
Questions arising now are detailed. Informed. Where did that starch come from? What source is this flavoring? Is it actually organic? While some may think psychological intervention is necessary, others are applauding the detective work. And this is what’s next.
It was once a word intended for mere safety protocols, a system for tracing possible contaminations for fear of poisoning. Now, it’s a word more related to the idea of transparency. Consumers want to know more than just what’s in their food. They want to also know where it came from.
There is a plethora of reasons for this, and every person has a different measuring stick for what’s important. Ultimately, the message is transparency. Can the product supplier trace the ingredients back to the source and inform the customer? That’s a great question.
It’s not all a matter of preference either, though that is certainly a valid reason. Many people are concerned with safety issues that only affect a certain population. Companies are scrambling to serve these populations, but it’s a long process. That’s why transparency is so important. As long as the consumer knows where the food is sourced, they can make an informed decision.
All the more, packages are starting to detail ingredient lists. Perhaps sourcing will begin to play a part as well. And who knows, maybe there will even be a clever little black and white circle on the front of packages soon representing the idea. Though the word Transparent or even Traceable may be too big a word. Perhaps a bold T?