Transparency: The Trend Responsible To Drive Change In The FMCG Industry

Samarth Garg, Founder, Honeytub Samarth is a young business analyst who established HoneyTub with a strong aim of making optimum use of horticulture practices to offer a premium range of flavoured gourmet honey.

We live in an information driven world, where individuals can access details about anything within fraction of seconds thanks to the rapid innovation in technology. This unparalleled access to information backed by social media has given consumers an all pass access to every aspect of the world; shifting the market dynamics from being seller driven to consumer driven.

In earlier times, the market created demand for the products that were manufactured. However, the tables have turned now, leading to consumer demand dictate the products that are produced. This does not limit itself to just the type of the product, but also extends itself to the packaging, form and quantity which is also enhanced & moulded according the changing consumer trends and demands. This philosophy also applies to the FMCG sector, where the consumers have increasingly become aware of what goes into the food they consume.

The research obsessed generation of today immensely relies on the information available over the internet to purchase products across categories. They also greatly depend on product reviews available online or promoted over social media handles. People tend to trust brands that have received good recommendations. They buy the product without much hesitation. One thing that has remained constant in consumer behaviour over time is evaluating the best value for their money when they make a purchase. Considering the tough competition in the market and with every brand trying to sell their
product, a variety of factors directly or indirectly influence one’s decision to make a purchase. These would include quality, ingredients, packaging, value for money, advertisement, awareness about the brand, and utility, to name a few. This inclination towards checking the products’value for money worth, durability and other necessary factors prior to purchasing has always dominated Indian consumerism. However, the ready access to this information, at the click of a button has further forced manufacturers and suppliers to keep close tab on the quality of the products that they market. Producers of especially FMCG products can no longer sell sub-standard products, as they fear prosecution from consumers on social media platforms.

Today, people don’t just want to know the USP of the product they want details on what you stand for, where does your company come from, and where are you heading towards

People now look forward to consuming naturally occurring food which is more authentic and nutrient rich. They are of the belief that if there is something in the product you fail to understand the value of, should be skipped. Consumers now also have a keen eye for detail and closely look at the ingredients that are put in the food.

If they come across an ingredient they don’t understand they instantly look it up on the internet and evaluate if it is good or bad for their overall health. Perhaps, this is the reason why we can see the ingredients list on packaged products getting shorter and comprising of more familiar ingredients that have high nutritional value.

If you want your brand to become a way of life for your consumer, the key is to tell them everything they should know about the brand and brand ethics. Today, people don’t just want to know the USP of the product, they want details on what you stand for, where does your company come from, and where are you heading towards. It is important as people today make decision on emotional basis rather than judgement.

Transparency can also prove to be extremely beneficial for producers of FMCG products, as it allows them to directly connect to their consumers through various platforms and address their concerns in real time. One can remove negative comments or reviews from the website but cannot stop people to talk about it. The best way out is to own up to your mistakes and try resolve the issue. This will help build positive conversation about the brand and establish a long-lasting relation with the customers.

Thus, it is clear that transparency, sustainability and growth are interlinked. In order to flourish in the market, it is important to communicate the right piece of information about the brand and values associated. When a brand is vocal about values and ethics, they gain a level of trust that is impossible the other way.