In numbers: The growing consumer demand for corporate transparency

The Consumer Goods Forum and social change agency Futerra surveyed more than 3,600 consumers on the importance of purpose-led brands and transparency surrounding environmental, social and ethical issues. Here, edie rounds up the key facts and figures.

Undertaken by The Consumer Goods Forum and commissioned by Futerra, the honest product survey quizzed 3,621 consumers in seven countries and more than 70 corporate leaders with collective operations in 26 countries between July and October on questions ranging from on-pack sustainability information to supply chain transparency.

With recent research revealing that the vast majority of millennial consumers want to buy from companies that have purpose, sustainability and environmental stewardship built into their ethos, the survey sheds new light on how public demand for corporate transparency is rising among all age groups.

“Every retailer and branded manufacturer today knows that transparency is essential to build the trust of their consumers and support sustainable growth – but in a world of transformed consumer expectations, social media and other new technologies, we are all having to completely re-learn what transparency means and how to deliver it to shoppers,” The Consumer Goods Forum’s managing director Peter Freedman added.

The results of the survey, which were unveiled on Friday (26 October), have been published alongside a guide to help companies test whether their product is “honest”.

Citing chocolatier Tony’s Chocolonely, beverage brand Innocent and Unilever-owned Ben & Jerry’s as examples of best practice in this field, the guide provides a checklist of “human-level” transparency factors that brands now have to meet to satisfy consumer demand.

“Over the past few decades, we’ve seen a significant shift in trust: away from institutions and brands, and towards family, friends and tribes online,” Futerra’s co-founder Solitaire Townsend said.

“The new breakthrough brands understand this and have made product honesty core to their business. Honesty is the human form of transparency – it’s harder, but the rewards are far greater. And it all comes down to the product in your consumer’s hand; that’s what she wants to know about.”

With this in mind, the survey acts as a snapshot of the public’s transparency-related needs and desires. Here, edie rounds up the key facts.


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