Ingredients and allergens information: from legal problem to marketing opportunity

By Daniela Samà 4 years agoNo Comments
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Bread can contain ellergens that points of sale needs to list

With increased dietary intolerances, allergies, and healthy eating trends, the need for complete ingredients, nutrition, and provenance information about food has evolved and increased.

In addition, legal requirements also provide for clear ingredients and allergen lists. These are obligations that are difficult to avoid but that are almost always viewed as a bureaucratic weight that does not add value or provide useful information for consumers.

However, Hyphen-UK believes this situation provides an opportunity for better communication with consumers and a closer relationship between retailers, producers, and clients by harnessing the power of digital.

Even information has an expiry date!

The creation of the list of ingredients and allergens, can in fact be a headache for most points of sale… Not just because the products themselves change often, but also because deli counter items and ingredients can vary quite frequently and suddenly, creating a real challenge for those responsible for maintaining the list of allergens and ingredients. There must be a clear procedure for updating and publishing this material, without it there is a real risk of wasted resources, providing irrelevant or redundant information to consumers, and of course the risk of fines for invalid or erroneous lists displayed.

In addition it is also worth pointing out that this responsibility is often left to the sales team, adding to their already heavy daily operational duties.

A new point of view – ingredients as part of a product’s Digital Identity

To simplify all these procedures and ensure that they are perceived for their real value there is a need to change perspective – from looking at a legal requirement to a marketing and communications opportunity.

To this end it is necessary to think about an innovative way of treating product content that is able to simplify the way in which the information is kept, organised, and reused for different media and means of communication at the point of sale, of which the ingredients list is nothing more than an additional channel of information.

Through a non-conventional approach to the management of information and the building of a Digital Identity for the product, producers and retailers become owners of their digital assets and information on their products. Only at this stage they will be free to select in a few clicks the most appropriate content to respect legal requirements as well as create messages with impact that surprise the consumer during their visit to the point of sale.

Hyphen-UK offers its own consulting services and technologies to define the processes of digitisation of content of Brands and products, easing information flows and improving editorial processes to optimise costs and time of production and deliver in-store.

The point of sales of the future is already around the corner

E-commerce has taught retailers the importance of content marketing to attract the target market and influence sales. These strategies can be used also offline with the great advantage that in-store consumers can also interact with the product (and immediately put it in their shopping cart).

The adoption of a new paradigm for the management of materials of communication allows points of sale to substitute traditional hard-copy materials and allergen books with digital touch points that only show the minimum information required by law, always up to date, but also a selection of interesting or innovative ingredient-related information including cooking tips, promotions, or news relevant to diet and healthy eating trends.

Going further than meeting legal requirements, digitising information about a product offers the opportunity to increase channels of communications between retailer and client, allowing greater dialogue and interaction.

Establishing a more personal relationship with the client, the retailer makes their experience in the store unique, improves the perception of the Brand, of its products, of the general efficiency of the point of sale, and influences their decision to buy with content directly linked to products that they have in front of them.

Harnessing the reality of legal requirements that arise at the same time that consumers are looking for more information about foods they consume means that businesses have a unique opportunity to use digital to add value.

About Hyphen-UK

We work with businesses on the road to digitisation.
We are convinced that technology is a necessary but insufficient tool to create real value for customers.

Our work is born from the analysis of the current state of the organisation and the resulting strategic framework that outlines a path for bespoke change management which focuses on improving procedures and processes that feed its communications, promotions, and multi-channel sales. Finally, we identify and develop software best suited to the specific needs of the client and the market of operation.

To learn more about our approach and solutions, contact us via this form or write us an email at We are looking forward to meeting you!

  Mass Market & Retail
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