Gaining back consumer trust

The U.S. consumer has demanded everyday low prices, and got them—at the loss of product quality and research investments. These surveys from November 2007 and May 2011 reveal a significant gap between commercial reality and consumer beliefs. The greatest trust gap is with China (a 63 percent negative).

Virtually all indicators suggest a move toward disclosure of manufacturing source, which creates an urgent need to develop a framework of standards, testing, branding and self-governance that addresses the U.S. consumers’ need for reassurance about product quality and safety.

The steps to do so are well understood. The will to do so is the challenge. Accepting the premise that the consumer is always right, survey data suggests we are not currently in sync with their understanding or expectations regarding product quality and origin of manufacturing.

This will best be corrected by demonstrating, in tangible ways, that product quality is about how you do things, not where you do them. We must continue to educate our consumers to trust the process by which we make our ingredients and not the country of origin—whether it be China or elsewhere.

Loren Israelsen is executive director of United Natural Products Alliance.

Oskar Thorvaldsson’s comments:
The above article illustrates the importance brand managers have to make sure customers know that you are following the best manufacturing practices possible. Gaia Herbs – www.gaiaherbs.com is a good example of this. They state that their supplements have been tested for heavy metals and microbiology and give an ID indicating that. Make sure you can do the same – Your sales will go up – Risk goes down – Customer loyalty will solidify.

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