There’s a lot of uncertainty. Dioxin in breakfast eggs, horse meat in lasagna, moulds in bionudles, rotten meat. And again and again germs. In the face of never-ending reports of food crises, consumers’ love of food is increasingly giving way to a feeling of powerlessness.
The food industry has a real confidence problem. Although the industry still enjoys the greatest trust compared to banks and other industries, the foundations are crumbling. And how do producers react? Shock rigidity. Sit out. The air sovereignty over blackboards and talk shows has largely been taken over by the critics. Test institutes, consumer organisations and transparency portals are then the most trusted. “Trust comes on foot and disappears at a gallop,” says a Dutch proverb among traders. It’s time for producers and producers to wake up.
In fact, looking at the details provides important starting points for active communication: food scandals, for example, cause comparatively great concern, but usually only lead to short-term changes in behaviour. This tempts some to sit out, but can also offer opportunities for a fresh start.
It is also noticeable that, in comparison, every brand finds more trust than the industry average. Apparently brands can overcome existing communication deficits. Confectionery brands, for example, enjoy the highest level of trust. In general, trust is more important to consumers than declarations and promises of control. This needs to be worked on.
“Food intake is existential. It is always consumed more than just food. Eating is also always a consolation and a strengthening against the adversities of life,” says psychologist Dirk Ziems of concept m. Can communication help consumers to go shopping with better feelings again? Producers and retailers must not be afraid to talk to the public. At no time were foodstuffs of higher quality and product diversity greater than on today’s counters. The agricultural and food industries are doing great things. But they have not yet understood how to communicate this to consumers in a self-confident and fully open manner. Clean declarations, convenient traceability offers and an unambiguous willingness to engage in dialogue can be half the battle for transparency and customer confidence.
Our special competence in issues management and in the area of social responsibility has made us sought-after consultants in the food industry. We know the issues and the players and know what to do in times of crisis. And where is the pleasure? Of course, we are also there when your product simply has to make another convincing appearance for customers.