Trust and Transparency – Trend 5

China’s pollution problem has been well documented – a side effect of the tremendous push for economic growth. But Beijing’s recent record high air pollution levels have led to a social media outcry and heightened awareness among consumers of what they buy, where it’s from, and the effect its production has had. Trust and transparency Consumers in China have been on high alert over product safety, especially when it comes to food, since the 2008 scandal in which toxic melamine was found in baby milk formula. That concern over production and point of origin has not gone away, and the uproar over air pollution has intensified consumers’ need to know more about what they’re buying. Imported brands have benefited from this – particularly brands from countries perceived to have clean air, fresh water, and strict safety standards. In the Year of the Rooster, consumer interest in point of origin will go deeper than looking for a flag on a label; shoppers want to know more about the ingredients within products and the entire production journey, right through the supply chain. Environmental awareness and food safety will be hot topics in 2017, and the brands that will win here are those that build safety and the environment into their brand story. Transparency will become a strong selling point.