One of the most difficult decisions our team at Okanagan Specialty Fruits™ has had to make when introducing Arctic® apples into the market has been “how can we best communicate with consumers about the science and benefits behind our nonbrowning apples?” Do we include a generic GMO label? Do we try to squeeze a few sentences about our biotech approach on the packaging? Something else?
There is no clear-cut answer, especially since consumers will differ in how they prefer to learn about the foods they buy. However, there are a few considerations that we felt were important in evaluating our options:
- We want consumers to get specific, accurate information about the science and safety of our apples. Biotech foods are developed in very different ways, and have a variety of unique traits. Saying a product is simply GMO provides little-to-no meaningful information (Mann Packaging has even removed non-GMO labels from products to avoid confusion!). We can do better than that.
- The information must be easily accessible and clearly laid out. We have never been a company that hides the fact that we use biotechnology to improve our fruit. Why would we be when they are just as safe and healthy, but offer many sustainability advantages and consumer benefits?
- Consumers must have the ability to learn as much as they want. We have done our best to ensure there are infographics, videos, FAQs, blog posts and all sorts of additional resources available for anyone with questions. And, we’re always happy to engage over social media or directly as well!
After careful considering the options available, we arrived at a choice we feel strongly about – utilizing the SmartLabel™ platform for a scannable QR code and comprehensive, standardized webpage with extensive detail on fresh, preservative free Arctic® Golden slices – our first product.
If you’re unfamiliar with SmartLabel™, you aren’t alone as it’s a fairly new initiative, but it’s growing fast a
nd they have a great FAQ worth checking out! There are already approximately 34,000 products that have SmartLabel™ pages with detailed information on their nutrition, ingredients, allergens, brand, and much more. Major companies like General Mills, Coca-Cola and Kraft Heinz have all been using the platform to demonstrate product transparency and the program appears set to continue its strong growth. For our part, we’ve worked with partners like Label Insight and ScanBuy to make sure our participation not only meets, but far exceeds the minimum SmartLabel™ standards.
By ensuring we are part of this initiative right from day one, we hope to show our commitment to transparency is not just lip service, but backed by detailed, specific information on the page and beyond. For these reasons and more, we think SmartLabel™ is a smart decision for providing consumers with information on Arctic® apples, and encourage you to give the package a scan or visit the page directly!