As concerns about genetic modification grow, consumers are looking for more information about food and clear labeling on packaging. According to an article in CBC, a report conducted by Health Canada found that Canadians are feeling overwhelmed and confused about food that has been genetically modified and are questioning why the government hasn’t done more to mandate more transparency in the food industry. In the report, 62% of Canadians reported that if they had the choice, they’d buy non-GM food over GM products due to their fear of health hazards and GM’s impact on the environment.

Transparent communication

Consumers are aware of the potential hazards that genetically modified food can have on their health and want more information about what they’re eating. They’re looking for clear packaging and labels that help them understand what they’re consuming, especially with their interest in living healthier lifestyles. Indeed, according to Mintel research,  68% of Canadian consumers would rate their overall lifestyle in terms of health as somewhat healthy.

Consumers are expecting more transparent communication in order to receive their trust.

For this reason, we’re seeing brands address consumers’ concerns and develop resources and tools that help them learn about what’s in their food. For example, Hellmann’s Brazil invites fans on an interactive tour of its tomato fields, allowing visitors to observe the farming process live via video cameras mounted in farmers’ headgear. In France, a supermarket installed a giant indoor screen showing customers where their food comes from, and an Australian meat producer launched new packaging that allows consumers to trace products back to the farm.

These efforts are becoming more important as consumers are expecting more transparent communication in order to receive their trust. However, transparency doesn’t have to be limited to proper food labeling. Brands also have an opportunity to showcase their laboring and production through creative efforts, such as livestreaming how food is packaged or allowing consumers to experience how food is produced. Allowing consumers to see exactly what they are consuming and where it comes from is key to gaining their trust.


Iliana Alvarenga is the Trends Analyst for North America and a member of the Global Trends team at Mintel. She identifies and examines relevant and emerging consumer trends across all categories and provides insight as to how these trends can apply to different markets and channels.

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