Shelf Rating System Cuts through the Clutter!

The Lempert Report
May 04, 2015

A Food sustainability rating system hits the shelves to help customers make quick and easy decisions.

With so many labels and definitions on food products these days, not to mention all the misinformation circling the internet, it's hard for consumers to feel confident in what they're buying. And when it comes to deciding if a product is sustainable, or environmentally conscious, shoppers eyes may glaze over as they scan all the labels and products. 

In an effort to help consumers make a quick and easy decision on how good a product is, Alexander Gillet founded the rating system "how good." Despite studies suggesting more and more shoppers are looking for sustainable or ethical foods, Gillet found that this was not being translated into purchases.  Understandable, given the number of variable factors that go in to labeling and rating sustainability. As he told "In 2009 there were 350 third-party certification labels that brands could employ to tell consumers they are doing a good job in targeted areas ranging from water management to fair sourcing to lab testing. Instead of making consumers learn what all of these labels mean, with HowGood consumers can learn one system that applies to all these characteristics." 

The 'How Good' system uses over 60 indicators to rate a product, indicators that range from behavior to practices.  "How Good" has partnered with about 100 stores; and over the next year, hope to expand to 400 to 500 retailers. Gillet also told, "So far we’ve rated more than 124,000 products, and just 6 percent of those receive a “Great,” 15 percent get a “Very Good” and 20 percent carry a “Good” rating" and so far they've seen that "..sales increases of products rated “Great” can be as high as 32 percent." 

As customers increasingly look for more transparency with the products they buy, but don't always have the time to sort through the mass of information, rating systems like "How Good" can really help retailers educate and inform customers.  But as important as it is to be easy to read for consumers, it should be easy to understand for  manufacturers.  For companies clearly labeled and comprehensive rating systems can be great for their product, especially if the rating systems' algorithm is open. HowGood's list of indicators and an interactive way to understand each will be available on their website soon, in the meantime they are happy to provide the written list with details. In addition, brands are welcome to reach out to them and HowGood will direct them to people who specialize in best practices within their industry. The key, is knowing what the rating indicators are and what they're looking for, so if needed manufacturers know how to increase their ratings.