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Companies Embrace SmartLabel™ to Connect with Consumers

Dec 09, 2015

Several food, beverage and consumer products companies recently announced their commitment to use a new SmartLabel™ technology that will give consumers instant access to detailed information about thousands of products. More than 30 companies plan to take part in the initiative that was launched last week.

The SmartLabel program, created by manufacturers and retailers, is designed to help consumers find additional details about products by scanning a bar code or doing an online search to reach a landing page with information on ingredients and other attributes of a wide range of food, beverage, pet care, household and personal care products. The technology will allow consumers to hone in on a specific ingredient or product in just one or two clicks.

Companies Have Option to Disclose GMO Ingredients

SmartLabel will include information on nutrition, ingredients, allergens, third-party certifications, social compliance programs, usage instructions, advisories and safe-handling instructions, companies and brands, and other information about the product. Overall, the companies project that, by the end of 2017, they will disclose via SmartLabel whether 20,000 food products contain ingredients sourced from genetically engineered (GE) crops, commonly known as GMOs.

How SmartLabel™ Works

Each product in the SmartLabel program will have a specific landing page containing detailed information from the manufacturer on ingredients and other product attributes. All pages will be organized in a similar format, with a consistent look across products, whether the consumer is looking at a gallon of ice cream or a gallon of laundry detergent.

Consumers will be able to find the product information in several ways:

  • scanning a QR code on the package;
  • using a web search, such as through Google, Yahoo or Bing;
  • going to a participating company’s web site; and
  • checking an App, which will be available in the future.  

A number of retailers have said that shoppers who don’t have smartphones will be able to check with the customer service desks in stores to find the information.

Companies Committed to SmartLabel

Some companies said they will begin to offer products using SmartLabel late this year and early in 2016, and they expect nearly 30,000 total products to have the SmartLabel by the end of 2017.

The companies already committed to using SmartLabel include: ConAgra Foods, Hormel Foods, Campbell Soup Company, Knouse Foods, Land O’Lakes, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Nestle, Hershey, J.M. Smucker Company, Kellogg Company, General Mills, McCormick & Company, Bimbo Bakeries USA, Wakefern Food Corp, Bruce Foods Corporation, Bumble Bee Seafoods, Ferraro USA, Flowers Foods, Reily Foods Company, Rich Products Corporation, Sunny Delight Beverages Co., Tyson Foods, Inc., Ahold USA, Topco LLC, The WhiteWave Foods Company, Pharmavite LLC, Clorox, Colgate-Palmolive, Procter & Gamble and Unilever.

Members with questions may contact Ruth Saunders, IDFA vice president of policy and legislative affairs, at rsaunders@idfa.org.  

Want to know more about SmartLabel™?

 
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