Fairtrade America partnered with the research firms Globescan and Atlantic 57 to explore consumer attitudes and perceptions around product labels. According to Globescan’s findings, 55 percent of Americans trust the Fairtrade label. People aged 25-44 reported even higher levels of trust, approaching 66 percent.
Today’s shoppers are confronted with an overwhelming number of options—the average supermarket carries more than 47,000 different products. Focus group research by Atlantic 57 found that consumers focus on cost, healthfulness and trust in making food decisions. Given the variety of claims on labels, consumers need clear, transparent labeling to guide their choices.
“If there are many options of what to buy, I generally look for believable labeling that reflects sustainable and fair trade, sometimes organic, sometimes more natural, etc. The more info on the package, the easier it is to make my decision,” one focus group participant stated.
Globescan found a “fair trade halo effect,” with 81 percent of consumers saying they would view a brand they already buy more favorably with a Fairtrade label.
Friends and family were also a trusted source for information on products and labels. Globescan’s work showed that 75 percent of consumers familiar with Fairtrade products would recommend them to a friend.
“The Fairtrade label gives consumers an easy way to identify products that protect human rights, confront inequality and ensure farmers and workers receive a fairer price,” said Bryan Lew, COO of Fairtrade America. “With an increased interest in how goods are produced, Fairtrade’s rigorous certification system gives consumers confidence.”
Focus group participants cited personal values for their support of fair trade. With nearly one in three Americans actively supporting environmental or social nonprofit organizations, shopping fair trade can be a way to extend that support.
The Fairtrade label appears on more than 35,000 products sold in more than 140 countries. They include Ben & Jerry’s, Nature’s Path, Navitas Organics, Divine Chocolate, Endangered Species Chocolate, Ethical Bean Coffee, Tony’s Chocolonely, Lily’s Sweets, Kicking Horse, Organic India, La Tourangelle, Glee Gum and Nielsen-Massey.