In the battle of the bulge, a war that many Americans are waging, is it better to eat healthy or exercise regularly? Experts say it’s best to do both. However, because busy lifestyles often get in the way of daily exercise sessions, more people try to be more cautious about the foods they consume.

Here’s the problem: Poor labeling and signage practices is making it harder than it needs to be, according to the results of a recent survey.

More than two-thirds of Americans say that the mere act of looking at package labels is not enough for them to know whether certain products are nutritious for them to consume, a 2017 study performed by Label Insight showed. Some people – often teenagers – don’t think twice about what they’re putting into their bodies, but they’re increasingly becoming the minority, since an estimated 3 in 4 people avoid specific ingredients when in grocery stores, the Shopper Trends Study revealed.

Celiac disease affects 3 million Americans
One of the more common ingredients that more people are avoiding is wheat, due to the grain containing gluten, a type of protein that’s been linked to a variety of gastrointestinal problems. According to the University of Chicago Medicine, celiac disease – the scientific name for gluten intolerance – affects approximately 3 million Americans. Many people have celiac disease without their knowing it, as the average length of time it takes for someone to become symptomatic is four years.

Patrick Moorhead, chief marketing officer at Label Insight, said the nutrition facts, channel strips and labels on packaged goods aren’t cutting it, in terms of highlighting the particulars consumers want to know..

“Consumers vary in their definitions of healthy, and they want more detailed ingredient information,” Moorhead explained. “Today’s product packaging is not meeting those needs.”

It isn’t just their own nutrition needs that they’re concerned about. They’re also interested in what their pets are eating. Ninety percent of pet parents in a separate survey conducted by Open Farms said transparency of ingredients was an important aspect of what pet foods they selected.

“56% of shoppers try to avoid foods containing high fructose corn syrup.”

‘No HFCS’ top consideration for grocery shoppers
Perhaps the best way for businesses to better portray included or un-included ingredients is knowing what customers are looking for. For instance, some of the more common types that buyers don’t want in their foods include high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, preservatives and artificial colors, the Label Insight poll discovered. Conversely, other ingredients they’re quite keen on. Sixty-three percent of respondents said they sought out foods containing blueberries, 60 percent avocado, 50 percent green tea and 44 percent kale.

“Keeping pace with consumers’ increasing demand for product transparency is one of the most challenging issues facing the food and beverage industry today,” Moorhead added.

A great way to make nutrition facts more apparent is through signage. NGS Printing creates point of purchase signage and retail graphics that your customers will appreciate, such as channel stripsaisle violatorsshelf talkers, wobblers, floor graphics and display headers. We specialize in working with major retailers meeting the ever changing needs of their customer base. Request a quote today and help your customers take better control of their family’s nutritional well-being.