UK customers don't trust food supply chains, but how can we fix it?

We asked 796 UK consumers how confident they were in food supply chains, here’s what they told us. 

How do you perceive consumer confidence in the UK food supply chain at present?

That’s exactly what we asked 796 consumers in a recent Twitter poll. A little unscientific perhaps, but indicative of the prevailing consumer attitudes nonetheless.

The results suggest – as expected – that consumer faith in the food industry is low. A quarter of the poll respondents think that consumer confidence is poor and 35% think confidence is slipping. However, there are various ways in which this can be resolved!

Sensationalism sells - and it sticks
Since the horse meat scandal, consumers have become sceptical of food supply chains and incredibly sensitive to issues of food provenance. Media outlets are acutely aware of this - so much so that sensationalised stories about food safety concerns are aggressively broadcasted. A study by NFU Mutual found that the most common cause of lost confidence in the food industry was high profile media reporting.
These stories instil a culture of mistrust in the food industry, and consumers, faced with ‘yet another’ headline, begin to tar every food manufacturer with the same brush.

Commercial Hygiene
When visiting restaurants, people will often use social influence tools, such as Trip Advisor, to determine whether or not that is where they wish to eat, so it’s important that suppliers ensure that the initial part of the journey starts strong. Using correct systems and ensuring high-quality processes are in place is an essential link in any food safety strategy. 
This is why it is critical that unbiased internal audits pick up on any areas needing further improvement, so they can be acted upon positively. Our clients have found that clear visual management and colour coded shadow boards make a big difference in their food safety strategy, meaning there is "A place for everything and everything in its place".

Seize the opportunity to educate your customers
Understandably, some food manufacturers may be demoralised by the lack of consumer faith in the food industry; however, it’s actually a huge opportunity. In a culture of mistrust, businesses can gain a huge competitive advantage through educating their customers and showing themselves to be taking issues of provenance and food safety seriously. Consumers want transparency, hygiene and safety from food manufacturers. Those who provide it stand to gain.

Taking steps to improve your food safety protocols and illuminating customers on the provenance of your food will likely have a transformative impact on your bottom line.
Will you seize the opportunity?

Posted on 16/01/2018