Labels Matter

The Lempert Report
August 26, 2022

Phil: So there's a new study out of Yougov that shows the difference in product labels between the US and the UK. The data shows that keeping an eye on sugar levels is one of the top concerns of consumers in both countries, free range labels number one for Brits 31%,. More than one out of five Brits consider purchasing products that carry animal and environmentally friendly labels. Also British consumers are much more concerned than we are about the sustainability and ethics of their grocers. And one-fifth of Americans and Brits take into account, whether their groceries are produced locally. So we are paying attention to food labels. I'm just wondering whether or not we're going to continue to see that even though, you know, number one in both countries is low sugar and no added sugar, Americans still are consuming way too much sugar. So just having it on the label, just us looking at it is not translating to changing behaviors.

Sally: Yes. And I wonder about that, you know, we do have very large numbers when it comes to diabetes and I believe that they do also in the UK. And so, you know, it is important to be looking at the sugar. And I'm wondering Phil, is this a, is there an opportunity for retail dietitians to get involved at their stores and to help consumers? Maybe they're reading the labels and they're looking for these products, but maybe they're not, they're confused. They don't know how to prepare these foods. I'm wondering where the disconnect there is. if the interest is there already.

Phil: I agree with you, you know, it just doesn't make sense if we have the interest, we have people reading labels, but they're not changing behavior. So we're not giving them the reason to change their behavior. And maybe it's, you know, the taste of sugar. We love salt, sugar, and fat in this country. And until we have a new generation of taste buds, I think we're gonna still have this problem.

Sally:Yes. I agree with you on that. And you know, another point that I saw in this study that I thought was really interesting is that it said that fewer than one in five American shoppers consider sustainable production and sustainable fishing product labels. And, you know, I think maybe we've overestimated and I hope this isn't controversial, but I think maybe we've overestimated, how much our shoppers are interested in sustainability.

Phil: Yes. I agree with you totally. It makes great headlines, you know, every survey. Yeah. I care about the planet. I care about climate change, but when push comes to shove, and we look at what people are buying in the supermarket, looking at their shopping carts were just not seeing it happen there. So we gotta get past all the PR we gotta get past on putting a gold star on our chest for doing the right thing. We just need to do the right thing.