Imagine the average woman – your customer — standing at the kitchen fridge, looking for a snack. It’s been a week or two since the last grocery shopping trip, so she is checking dates before opening the packages. Knowing that it is July 1, 2016, she tosses all products that emblazoned with June dates. She’s not paying attention to the fact that some say “best by,” others say “use by”, and still others say “sell by”. She doesn’t want to take a chance of getting sick, and who can blame her?
Now, imagine that same consumer walking through the grocery store. After having tossed those foods found, unused, and outdated in her fridge just days before, what are the chances that she invests in those same products again? Most likely she is thinking that she’d rather not throw away her money with the food pouches.
This is a real problem faced by real food manufacturers, and one that could be avoided if products were marked consistently. After all, just because the product had a ‘sell by’ date of June 29th doesn’t mean that it was no good on July 1st.
This is another reminder of how important the messages on your food bags are, and it is a conversation that was recently brought to light by retail giant, Wal-Mart. Some research found that the food product packaging in their stores was not consistently marked, which made it very difficult for consumers to know whether or not their food products were safe for consumption. Research showed that consumers overwhelmingly preferred the ‘use by’ dates, because they could make the most sense of that. So, Wal-Mart is taking action to switch all package printing to this format.
Just this simple change could be enough to ensure that the woman at her fridge has a snack and isn’t deterred from buying the product again.