The Benefits of Certification
It’s the era of the conscientious consumer. Today’s customers aren’t just seeking out healthier products, they’re also focused on ecological impact and sustainability. Meeting those expectations is only half the battle. Demonstrating your company’s mission and values is just as important, and there’s no better way to achieve this than through certifying your food products.
What is the Purpose of Food Certification?
With the popularity of processed foods and industrial farming practices, consumers often find themselves questioning what goes into their food, with respect to both ingredients and preparation methods. In an effort to provide them with a higher level of transparency, many seed suppliers, farmers, food processors, retailers, and restaurants are opting to have their products certified by respected organizations.
There are many types of food certifications, including kosher, organic, gluten-free, non-GMO, and fair trade.
What are the Benefits of Food Certification?
Increased Brand Awareness
The Conscious Consumer Spending Index reports that the COVID-19 pandemic has motivated more consumers to purchase from mission-driven brands. In fact, Nielsen’s recently released data suggests that 73% of consumers are looking to change their consumption habits to reduce their environmental impact.
One survey by Linkage Research found that eco-conscious customers are also more likely to buy products that are verified with the following labels:
- USDA Organic
- Non-GMO Project Verified
- Fair Trade Certified
- Certified Plant-Based
- Certified Gluten-Free
The increased demand for specialized foods, such as organic or non-GMO, allows an opportunity for your company to stand out as a trusted brand, and exposes your products to a wider audience.
Increased Market Availability & Competitive Differentiation
In response to the demand for “free from” food products and sustainably-sourced ingredients, many retailers have limited their inventory to exclusively include specialized products with these certifications.
Distinct certification marks such as fair-trade or gluten-free set your products apart from the rest. Consumers seeking transparency lean toward brands with clearly displayed ethical values and a commitment to wellness and sustainability.
Certification allows your brand to access an expanded network of retailers and help your products stand out on the shelves, furthering your reach to eco-conscious customers.
With today’s prominent consumer focus on wellness, Linkage Research cites that 63% of US households report certifications as an important factor when choosing their food and often seek out certified products. 6 out of 10 of these customers are willing to pay a premium for wellness-focused foods.
Clean label food and beverages, or products containing simple, easily recognizable ingredients, have become much more than just a trend. They are the new norm. The Global Clean Label Ingredients Market size hit $38.8 billion in 2020, and is projected to reach $64.1 billion by 2025.
Becoming a Trusted Brand
According to Nielsen’s Global Health & Wellness Survey, nearly half of the US and Canadian population distrust manufacturers’ food label claims. But a 2019 NSF International survey found that 85% of consumers trust independent, third-party certification organizations to verify product claims. Why is this?
First-party certifications often come across as a company’s self-declaration. “Our products are considered organic based on meeting a criteria that we have defined.”
Second-party certifications can convey a conflict of interest. “Our products are considered organic because they meet the criteria defined by the co-packer who produces our product.”
But third-party certifications verify that a product or process meets a defined universal standard. “Our products are considered organic because they meet the criteria defined by a fair and unbiased association that maintains a universal standard.”
By demonstrating to consumers that your product meets or exceeds their expectations, third-party certifications help build trust in your brand.
Get Certified With Avert
Avert Food Safety Advisors offer more than food safety inspections. We pride ourselves on providing full-coverage brand protection, including cGMP and food product certifications. With over 20 years of experience in the food industry, Avert’s trusted team is equipped to help you go above and beyond the needs of your customers and stand out as a brand they can rely on.
Matthew McClure provides sound strategies that instill cost-effective methods for building robust food safety, operational and quality assurance programs. Along with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Microbiology from The University of Akron and an MBA in Finance from Louisiana State University, Matthew brings over 20 years of experience in the food safety industry to AVERT Food Safety Advisors. His knowledge spans many areas including FDA food processing facilities, USDA meat and poultry plants, dietary supplement manufacturers, retail, cannabis manufacturing, and food service operations.
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