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Total Transparency: Inviting Consumers Inside

Transparency goes beyond ingredient information. In an age when processed foods are demonized, consumers want to know exactly how the ingredients are handled to become the product they see on the grocery store shelves. “Transparency is most powerful when the visual metaphor feels true? when consumers feel they have been allowed to truly see how companies are and how products come to be,” Hartman Group experts write in the consultancy’s recent report on transparency (2015). This goes back to the idea of inviting customers inside to see for themselves the quality, integrity, and safety behind each product.

Caribou Drops Artificial Ingredients From Drinks

Caribou Coffee is cleaning up its act by offering beverages free of artificial colors, flavors and sweeteners. The Brooklyn Center-based company has established a clean label standard for all beverages served at its U.S. locations, making it the first national coffeehouse to answer consumers distrustful of unrecognizable ingredients with such a wide-ranging guarantee. "Almost all consumers are looking for, at least to some level, foods that are fresh, real and less-processed. That's the holy grail for most consumers right now," said Laurie Demeritt, chief executive of the Hartman Group, a consumer research firm focused on food and beverages. According to a 2015 consumer survey by the firm, more than 70 percent of people say they read labels when shopping. The term "clean label" has no formal definition but generally describes the rejection of ingredients perceived to be bad.


Restaurants Turn to Robots to Take Orders Through Social Channels, Digital Assistants

“We are seeing more restaurants adding chatbots to their ordering capabilities largely because it is a technology that consumers are already using. While some restaurants have their own ordering app with chatbot capabilities, we are seeing more restaurant companies explore the use of pre-existing messaging tools as chatbot platforms. This takes out the extra step of downloading a stand-alone restaurant app for mobile ordering,” said Robertson Allen, a consultant with The Hartman Group. In addition to letting consumers use an app they already have instead of downloading a restaurant’s app -- freeing up valuable smartphone real estate -- chatbots appeal to consumers because they “simulate a human conversation and create a more fun context around the food ordering experience,” Allen said “Unlike other online ordering systems, they provide an experiential layer that makes the process feel less impersonal and purely transactional.”



The A.C.T. Experience

Click on this link to go to the event page: A.C.T. SEATTLE

Finding inspiration for “what to make to eat?” can be a real challenge for many of America’s households

Cooking today for a family must accommodate everyone’s schedule and food preferences ranging from avoidances to culinary variety and healthfulness.


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