Food Firms to Use Labeling to Inform Consumers

The Grocery Manufacturers Association, an industry group that includes more than 30 big food companies, has announced a plan to use smartphone scanning technology to better inform consumers about the ingredients in their products.
The group, which includes General Mills, Inc., Hershey Co., and PepsiCo Inc., announced in 2015 the SmartLabel Initiative. The goal of the initiative is to provide consumers with quick and accurate information about the foods they buy, especially those that contain genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.
GMOs are crops whose DNA is engineered to produce certain traits, such as pest resistance. They have come under fire recently from consumer groups for being bad for the environment and unhealthy for consumers. The food industry counters that the FDA allows GMOs, and scientists agree that they are safe to eat. 
Despite the disagreement, food manufacturers want consumers to have as much information as possible, but assert that mandatory labeling would be confusing and costly. The solution: the SmartLabel Initiative.

How does the SmartLabel work?
The SmartLabel uses a Quick Response Code, or QR code, that shoppers can scan in-store with their smartphones. The code will take them to a website that will provide information about the product, including nutrition information, ingredient definitions and sustainability information. Hershey, one of the SmartLabel Initiative participants, says the technology will allow them to explain to consumers what certain ingredients are and why they are used.
A survey conducted by the Grocery Manufacturers Association concluded that 75% of consumers would be likely to use a SmartLabel when purchasing food. The group says that by 2017, GMO ingredients as well as other types of information will be disclosed for over 20,000 products via SmartLabel technology. And there’s no end to the ways that the technology could be used to improve the quantity and quality of information for consumers.
AbeTech is ahead of the curve and ready to help food companies adopt the SmartLabel. We can recommend software programs and other labeling and scanning solutions that will enable you to share vast amounts of information with consumers. Just contact us today!

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