Page 1: Introduction
Consumers have higher expectations than ever before. They want products to match these expectations. They also want accurate, up-to-date and useful information about what they buy. In short, consumers want the facts. This growth of consumer power is known as consumerism. In the area of fast moving consumer goods(FMCG), marketing has become a specialised and complex process. When developing products, organisations try to meet the needs of their consumers as fully as possible. This is vital if they want to do better than their competitors. This process of development around the needs of its consumers is called marketing orientation.
Nestlé's business principles
Nestlé is the world's biggest food and beverage company. It wants to be known as a 'Respected, Trustworthy, Food, Nutrition, Health and Wellness Company'. Its actions are guided by a series of business principles.
Market research by Nestlé showed that its customers have a genuine and growing interest in information about its brands. In particular, consumers want more information about what they eat and drink. They felt this information should be supplied as part of the product.
This case study shows how market research has helped Nestlé to exercise corporate responsibility. It has done this by promoting healthy eating. The company played an important role in the development of 'Guideline Daily Amounts' (GDAs). These were developed by the Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD), a trade association. Leading manufacturers and retailers, including Nestlé, took part.
Corporate responsibility through food labelling
Nutritionists and scientists provided the details of the nutrients that the average person needs to consume each day. The GDAs were produced in line with published government recommendations. Having developed the guidelines, the next step was the most difficult. Consumers wanted the information in a form they could easily understand. So the GDAs were added in a visual form to the front of packs. This meant that consumers could easily understand and use the information. Nestlé and other major manufacturers chose to use symbols to help consumers make more informed choices.
The symbols were designed to show the amount of calories, sugars, fat, saturates and salt in products. The consistent use of these symbols helps consumers to understand the GDAs. This means they can make choices quickly and easily about their daily diets. Placing the GDA symbols on the front of packaging is a powerful tool. It gives consumers the information they need immediately. This also supported the market research data which showed that consumers' buying habits were influenced by a desire to eat healthily.