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Breaking News: New Technology Will Help Consumers Buy Pet Products More Wisely

Buying products for your pet (and your whole family) is just about to get a whole lot easier thanks to a new technology, SmartLabel, announced this month by the Grocery Manufacturers Association.

Image source: @JOhnMarkosO’Neill via Flickr
Image source: @JOhnMarkosO’Neill via Flickr

The tech will enable consumers to have easy and instantaneous access to detailed information about thousands of products, with more than 30 major companies (not all pet-related) already committed to taking part in the transparency initiative.

This transformative new program, created by manufacturers and retailers, enables consumers to get all the information they want to know about what they are purchasing. It is designed so that consumers can easily have access to a wide variety of information but can hone in on a question they have on an ingredient or product in just one or two clicks.

What exactly is in this food? Soon, you may know. Image source: @Sh4rp! via Flickr
What exactly is in this food? Soon, you may know. Image source: @Sh4rp! via Flickr

“People want more information and are asking more questions about products they buy, use and consume, and SmartLabel puts detailed information right at their fingertips,” said Pamela G. Bailey, president and CEO of the Grocery Manufacturers Association. “SmartLabel is a modern technology that will change how people shop and will help them get answers to questions they have on the products they purchase when they want that information.”

SmartLabel™ makes it easier than ever for shoppers to find information about products they use and consume. SmartLabel™ will be available on an array of food, beverage, personal care, household and pet care products with information on hundreds of attributes covering thousands of products, including:

  • Nutritional information
  • Ingredients
  • Allergens
  • Third-party certifications
  • Social compliance programs
  • Usage instructions
  • Advisories
  • Safe handling instructions
  • Company/brand information
  • And more pertinent information about the product

 

How SmartLabel Works

Each individual product in SmartLabel will have a specific landing page containing detailed information from the manufacturer on ingredients and other product attributes. All landing pages are organized in a similar format, with a consistent look across products, whether the consumer is looking at a gallon of ice cream or a gallon of laundry detergent.

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This digital information can be accessed via smartphones, tablets and desktops. Consumers can use SmartLabel several ways:

  1. Web search through a search engine like Google or Bing
  2. A participating brand’s or retailer’s website
  3. Scanning a QR code on the package
  4. Eventually, through certified apps
  5. Participating retailers will also make it easy to use SmartLabel. For shoppers without smartphones, many customer service desks will have access to the information or the ability to connect to a SmartLabel website or www.smartlabel.org.

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More than 30 Major Companies Already Committed to SmartLabel

Some companies are beginning to offer products using SmartLabel late this year and early in 2016, with projections of nearly 30,000 total products using SmartLabel by the end of 2017.  Early estimates indicate that within five years, more than 80 percent of the food, beverage, pet care, personal care and household products that consumers buy will be using SmartLabel.

Do you think this will help you shop wiser? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!

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Written by Kristina Lotz

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