Give it to them straight. That is the theme of a recent study conducted by Label Insight that suggests consumers are still afraid to fully trust manufacturers when it comes to understanding what’s in their food despite the belief it’s the manufacturer’s responsibility to provide it.

While consumer demand for product transparency may be driving the evolution of the food industry, a clear gap still exists between expectations and the information brands are providing. Currently only 12 percent of consumers rank brands as their most trusted resource for information about what is in their own food, but 67 percent of consumers believe it is the brand or manufacturer's responsibility to provide consumers with this information.

According to researchers, the study reveals that brands that meet customer expectations for product information and deliver that information instantly develop a new dynamic of convenience, trust, and long-term value.

“We’ve reached a point where consumers have much higher expectations for transparency about what is in their food,” says Patrick Moorhead, CMO at Label Insight. “Consumers have been demanding more and more information from brands in every sector of the market, and food companies are finally realizing how important it is to provide that information.”

Key points from the study include:

-Consumer Confusion: The majority of consumers (81 percent) consumed a packaged product with an ingredient they didn't recognize at some point in the past month.

-Informed Purchase Decisions: Nearly all respondents (94 percent) say it is important to them the brands and manufacturers they purchase products from are transparent about what is in their food and how it is made.

-Added Value: More than two-thirds (83 percent) say they would find additional value in having access to more extensive product information.

-Consumer Loyalty: More than a third of consumers surveyed (37 percent) say they would switch brands if another brand shared more detailed product information.

Results from the full study can be found here.