ARLINGTON, VA. — Nearly two-thirds of consumers would switch from a brand they usually buy to one that provides more in-depth product information beyond nutrition facts.

That’s among the findings of a new study, Transparency in an Evolving Omnichannel World, by FMI – The Food Industry Association – and NielsenIQ.

The report revealed continued high demand among consumers for transparency from food retailers and manufacturers, particularly in a more omnichannel marketplace.

“The data from this report strongly reinforce the old adage that honesty is the best policy,” said Steve Markenson, director of research and insights for FMI. “Consumers want to know where their food comes from and how it gets made, and that has held true even as the pandemic has changed grocery shopping habits. Whether online or in store, shoppers prefer brands that tell the whole story about their products.”

"Transparency trends continue to evolve as omnichannel gains importance," said Sherry Frey, vice president of total wellness with NielsenIQ. "As consumers demand great transparency, brands have an opportunity to educate consumers, communicate sustainability and health credentials and win consumer loyalty."

When it comes to transparency, ingredient and nutrition information remain top of mind for an increasing number of health-conscious consumers. For example, some 89% say general nutrition facts about a product are at least somewhat important in deciding which products to buy when grocery shopping — while 66% find this important or extremely important.

Beyond nutrition facts, the majority (80%) of shoppers cited other transparency indicators of importance to include allergen information, certifications and claims, and values-based information, such as animal welfare, fair trade and labor practices.

In 2018, just over one-fourth of shoppers (26%) purchased groceries online in the past 30 days. According to the latest findings, that number has now ballooned to 55%, making the online marketplace an ever more critical juncture for consumers to find their preferred brands and discover new ones.

For example, 47% said discovery of new products – including information about sourcing and manufacturing processes – is easier online, compared to 23% saying harder and 30% saying about the same.

When it comes to online shopping and transparency shoppers say they want faster delivery (42%), easier to use websites (37%), more and better product information (30%), retention of order history (29%), more accurate search functionality (28%) and product recommendations based on preferences (23%).