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Label Management
May 7, 2024
May 7, 2024

Why Label Transparency is the Key to Your Consumers' Hearts

Rangan Das

Why Label Transparency is the Key to Your Consumers' Hearts

May 7, 2024
May 7, 2024
Rangan Das


Navigating a supermarket aisle can be an overwhelming experience, surrounded by a multitude of products adorned with colorful packaging. In today's consumer landscape, the emphasis is on transparency—a desire to gain insight into what goes beyond the label. This extends beyond deciphering complex food nutrition information; it's a quest for authenticity, trust, and a connection with the brands that provide sustenance for individuals and their families.

The days of unquestioning acceptance of product claims are fading. Fuelled by a heightened awareness of health, environmental impact, and ethical sourcing, consumers are now demanding transparency from the food industry. Several factors drive this shift:

  1. Health concerns: Consumers are increasingly mindful of the impact of their dietary choices on their well-being. They seek clarity on ingredients, ensuring alignment with dietary restrictions or preferences.
  2. Environmental awareness: Sustainability is a mainstream consideration. Consumers now factor in the environmental footprint of their food choices, supporting brands prioritizing responsible sourcing and production.
  3. Ethical sourcing: Concerns about fair labor practices and animal welfare throughout the food supply chain are growing. Consumers want assurance that their chosen food brands uphold ethical standards.

While food nutrition labels provide essential information, they often fall short of offering the detailed understanding consumers seek. There's a yearning for a comprehensive narrative—tracing the food's journey from the farm to the table, understanding the values it represents, and acknowledging its broader impact.

Brands embracing label transparency have a unique opportunity to build trust and connections with consumers. It's not just about providing information; it's about empowering individuals to make informed choices aligned with their values. In the upcoming sections, we'll explore the current implementations of label transparency, examine the role of technology in facilitating this transparency, and underscore why transparency is not merely a trend but a fundamental element for success in the evolving food industry.

Breaking down food nutrition labels

 food nutrition labels
FDA’s new label.

While food nutrition labels (also called nutrition facts labels) offer a wealth of information, deciphering their codes can feel like navigating a foreign language. Understanding what each element signifies empowers you to make informed choices about the food you consume. Let's break down the key components:

Serving Size: This crucial element serves as the foundation for interpreting the nutrient values listed. It represents the recommended consumption amount and is often different from what you might typically eat in one sitting. Be mindful of this distinction to avoid miscalculating your actual nutrient intake.

Calories: This value indicates the total energy provided by one serving of the food, measured in units of kilocalories (kcal) or simply calories. It's essential for managing your overall calorie intake and maintaining a healthy weight.

Macronutrients: These are the building blocks of our diet and include:

  • Fat: Listed in grams (g), fat plays a vital role in hormone production, cell function, and satiety. It's further categorized as saturated fat, unsaturated fat (including healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats), and trans-fat, with varying health implications.
  • Carbohydrates: Also listed in grams, carbs are our body's primary source of energy. They are further broken down into sugars, fiber, and starches. Sugars include naturally occurring ones like fructose and added sugars, which should be monitored due to their impact on blood sugar levels. Fiber, unlike other carbs, isn't fully digested and offers numerous health benefits like promoting gut health and regulating digestion.
  • Protein: Another essential nutrient measured in grams, protein is crucial for building and repairing tissues, supporting immune function, and promoting satiety.

Micronutrients: These essential vitamins and minerals, listed in milligrams (mg) or micrograms (mcg), play various roles in maintaining bodily functions. Some key examples include:

  • Vitamin D: Essential for bone health and immune function.
  • Calcium: Crucial for strong bones and teeth.
  • Iron: Important for transporting oxygen throughout the body.
  • Sodium: While necessary for maintaining fluid balance, excessive intake can contribute to high blood pressure.

Daily Value (DV): This percentage expresses how much a nutrient in one serving contributes to your daily needs based on a 2,000-calorie diet. It allows you to assess if a food is high or low in a specific nutrient relative to your daily requirements. The DV values can vary across regions and can be represented differently as well. For instance, in India, DV is the same as RDA or Recommended Daily Allowance. 

10 examples of label transparency in 2024

As consumers increasingly demand transparency from the brands they support, the food industry is witnessing a shift towards open and honest communication. Brands are embracing various strategies to shed light on their practices and build trust with their customers. Here are 10 examples of how label transparency is taking shape in 2024:

As consumers become increasingly conscious of what they consume, the food industry is witnessing a transparency revolution. Brands are actively embracing various strategies to shed light on their practices, build trust, and empower individuals to make informed choices aligned with their values. 

Here's a closer look at 10 key examples of how label transparency is taking shape in 2024:

1. Ingredient lists

This fundamental requirement for most packaged foods provides a detailed breakdown of all ingredients, listed in descending order of predominance by weight. This empowers consumers to:

  • Understand the true composition of their food: Knowing exactly what's in a product allows individuals to make informed choices about what they consume, catering to dietary restrictions, preferences, and potential allergies.
  • Identify potential allergens: Transparent ingredient lists are crucial for individuals with allergies or sensitivities, enabling them to easily identify and avoid products containing triggering ingredients.
Identify potential allergens
Source: Food Business News

Also read: Everything You Need to Know About Food Allergen Labeling In 2024

2. Origin labeling

This label goes beyond simply stating the country of origin. It’s often crucial in wine labeling, Origin labeling also delves deeper, revealing the specific region, farm, or cooperative where the ingredients were grown, raised, or processed. This transparency offers several benefits:

  • Supporting local farmers: Consumers seeking to support local agriculture can easily identify products sourced from their region, fostering a sense of community and economic sustainability.
  • Informed decision-making: Knowing the origin of ingredients allows consumers to make informed choices based on ethical sourcing practices, environmental considerations, or geographical preferences.
origin labels in Australia
An example of origin labels in Australia.
Go Natural

3. Non-GMO Labeling

This label clearly indicates whether a product is free from Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). This caters to a growing segment of consumers who, for various reasons, prefer to avoid GMOs in their diet. By offering this transparency, brands empower individuals to make informed choices based on their personal beliefs and preferences.

Genetically Modified Organisms
Source: The New York Times

4. Fair trade labeling

This label identifies that the product was produced according to fair trade standards, ensuring fair wages, and working conditions for farmers and workers throughout the supply chain. Consumers who prioritize ethical sourcing and social responsibility can easily identify products that align with their values through this transparent labeling practice.

product packaging
Fair trade logo on product packaging.
Food Navigator.

5. Organic labeling

This label denotes that the product was produced according to organic standards, adhering to strict regulations that prohibit the use of synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, or genetically modified organisms. This transparency caters to consumers who are concerned about the potential health and environmental impacts of conventional farming practices, allowing them to make informed choices that align with their priorities.

Organic labeling on food packaging
Organic labeling on food packaging.
Earth eats.

6. Nutritional labels

This front-of-pack label provides valuable information about the nutrients present in a food product, including calories, fat, protein, carbohydrates, sugar, sodium, vitamins, and minerals. This empowers consumers to:

  1. Make informed dietary choices: By understanding the nutritional profile of a product, individuals can make informed decisions about their diet, tailoring their food choices to meet their specific health goals and preferences.
  2. Compare and contrast products: Nutritional labels allow for fast and easy comparison between different products, enabling consumers to identify options that better align with their dietary needs and preferences.
Compare and contrast products
Source: eufic

7. Allergen Labeling

This crucial labeling practice clearly identifies the eight major food allergens that are required to be listed on food labels: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish, and shellfish. This transparency is essential for individuals with food allergies and sensitivities, allowing them to easily identify and avoid products that could trigger allergic reactions.

Vegetarian labeling
Source: Very Well Health

8. Date labels

These labels indicate the "best by," "sell by," or "use by" date of the product. FDA also announced changes to this, ensuring customers can better understand food date labels. This information empowers consumers to:

  • Make informed purchasing decisions: By understanding the product's shelf life, individuals can avoid purchasing items that are nearing their expiration date, minimizing food waste and ensuring optimal quality and safety.
  • Reduce food waste: Date labels encourage informed consumption practices, helping individuals plan their meals and avoid unnecessary food waste, contributing to a more sustainable food system.
food waste:
“Sell by” dates, which are generally unconnected to food safety, lead to needless waste. Source: LA Times

9. Claims Labeling

Food labels may make claims about the health benefits of a product, such as "low fat" or "high in fiber." However, these claims are strictly regulated by government agencies to ensure accuracy and prevent misleading information. This transparency protects consumers from false advertising and empowers them to make informed choices based on accurate claims. Check out this link to know more about FDA’s guidance statements on this topic.

10. QR Codes

These codes, embedded on food labels through intelligent label management solutions, can be scanned with smartphones to access a wealth of additional information about the product. This transparency can encompass:

  • Detailed sourcing information: Consumers can delve deeper into the origin of ingredients, learning about the specific farms, regions, or sourcing practices associated with the product.
  • Production process insights: Transparency regarding the production process can offer valuable insights into the brand's commitment to sustainability, ethical practices, and quality control measures.
  • Engaging recipes or nutritional resources: QR codes can link to interactive content, providing consumers with recipe inspiration, additional nutritional information.
Source: Uniqode

How to check label transparency with Artwork Flow

Maintaining accurate and consistent information across your product labels is no longer just an option, it's a necessity. Artwork Flow emerges as a powerful ally for brands seeking to streamline their label management process and facilitate impactful transparency initiatives. Here's how Artwork Flow empowers brands to achieve this on multiple fronts:

Centralized product data foundation

  • Eliminate silos: Artwork Flow acts as a central digital asset management system for all your product information, including ingredient lists, sourcing details, certifications, nutritional data, and sustainability metrics. This eliminates the need for scattered spreadsheets or siloed databases, ensuring consistency and accuracy across all communication channels, including labels, marketing materials, and e-commerce platforms.
  • Enhanced collaboration: Streamline collaboration between internal teams (product development, marketing, regulatory) by providing a single source of truth for product information. This fosters efficient communication and minimizes the risk of errors or inconsistencies through collaborative online proofing.

Automated compliance and risk management

  • Minimize errors: Artwork Flow integrates with ComplyAI, a powerful AI-powered solution that verifies your labels against regulatory requirements and industry standards. This minimizes the risk of errors and omissions, ensuring your labels comply with all relevant regulations, fostering consumer trust, and avoiding potential legal issues.
  • Proactive risk mitigation: ComplyAI's advanced features also  enable proactive identification of potential compliance risks associated with ingredient sourcing, labeling claims, or emerging regulations. This allows brands to address these risks early on, saving time, and resources, and safeguarding brand reputation

Seamless integration of transparency elements

  • QR code management: Easily integrate QR codes that link to detailed product information, sustainability reports, or interactive experiences, offering consumers deeper insights into your brand story, sourcing practices, and environmental impact.
  • Dynamic content management: Manage and update nutritional information, ingredient lists, allergen declarations, and other details efficiently. Artwork Flow's comprehensive asset management capabilities paired with version control ensure your labels reflect the latest product specifications and cater to evolving regulations, fostering transparency throughout the product lifecycle.
  • Design integration: Artwork Flow seamlessly integrates with popular design software, allowing you to incorporate transparency elements like sourcing information or certifications directly into your label designs. This streamlines the workflow and ensures transparency is embedded throughout the product development process.

Beyond the label: transparency across the customer journey

Artwork Flow goes beyond label creation, enabling brands to extend transparency across the entire customer journey. Here are some additional ways it achieves this:

  • Zero guesswork: ComplyAI automatically checks your labels against regulations like those from the FDA and EU, ensuring they're compliant and avoiding costly errors. It even flags potential issues before they become problems, saving you time and resources.
  • Effortless transparency: Artwork Flow makes creating compliant labels easy through creative automation, while ComplyAI verifies them in real-time. This one-stop approach minimizes errors and streamlines the process.
  • No-compromise accuracy: ComplyAI ensures your labels accurately reflect the latest ingredient information, nutritional data, and allergen declarations. This fosters trust with your consumers who rely on accurate information to make informed choices aligned with their health and values.

By leveraging Artwork Flow's comprehensive suite of features, brands can achieve a higher level of label transparency, demonstrating their commitment to ethical practices, environmental responsibility, and consumer well-being. This not only fosters trust and brand loyalty but also empowers consumers to make informed choices aligned with their values, ultimately contributing to long-term success in a competitive market.


Artwork Flow empowers brands to not just comply with regulations and avoid costly errors, but also proactively embrace transparency as a strategic differentiator. ComplyAI takes it a step further, allowing brands to provide consumers with the information and foster trust through consistent, accurate communication. It allows brands to build stronger connections and position themselves for sustainable success in the evolving consumer landscape. Try out ArtworkFlow with ComplyAI today!

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